League Announces #SummitVB Honors

League Announces #SummitVB Honors

Championship Page

ELMHURST, Ill. – With only one day before the championship festivities begin in Denver, Colo., The Summit League announced its 2017 volleyball all-league award recipients Thursday afternoon.

Fresh off winning their fourth-straight regular season title, the No. 1 Denver Pioneers led the league with eight honors while No. 5 Omaha followed with seven.

It was Oral Roberts' Laura Milos, however, taking home the title of Summit League Player of the Year, while South Dakota's Brittney Jessen was named the Setter of the Year and North Dakota State's Mikaela Purnell earned Defensive Player of the Year. Omaha's Bella Sade was voted as the Freshman of the Year, while Tom Hogan of Denver received the nod for Summit League Coach of the Year.

Milos continued to add to an already impressive career résumé in 2017, earning four Offensive Player of the Week awards and an AVCA Player of the Week honor on Oct. 3. The senior from Porec, Croatia, now holds the most Player of the Week titles in league history (15) and jumped to No. 2 all-time in the Summit League record books with 2,210 career kills. For good measure, Milos also led the league in four statistical categories (kills, kills/set, aces, aces/set) and currently holds the third-best kills/set and aces/set marks in the NCAA (5.31 and 0.56, respectively).

This was the third-straight season Jessen took home the Setter of the Year title, making her the only athlete in Summit League history to accomplish such a feat. For Purnell, she becomes only the fourth league athlete to win the Defensive Player of the Year honor twice in her career and only the third to do so in back-to-back seasons.

Jessen averaged a league-best 10.23 assists/set en route to breaking South Dakota's school record for assists. Among active NCAA DI setters, she is fifth with 4,725 assists doled out over her four-year Coyote career. On the defensive side, Purnell posted a 6.10 digs/set average as the senior went onto win five Defensive Player of the Week honors. In her final match of the regular season, Purnell turned in a personal-best 36-dig performance, marking the 10th such time she surpassed the 30-dig plateau in her career.

In league play this season, Sade led all players in three statistical categories: block assists (52), total blocks (50) and blocks/set (1.15). Hogan led the Pioneers to a .857 league winning percentage with a 12-2 record—the best such winning percentage by a Summit League regular season champ since 2011. Overall, Denver went 21-5, 12-1 at home, and is currently riding a nine-match win streak.

All-League Team

Laura Milos, Oral Roberts

Becca Latham, Denver

Brittany Jessen, South Dakota

Brianna Rasmusson, North Dakota State

Hayley Dotseth, South Dakota     

Mikaela Purnell, North Dakota State

CeCe Madison, Oral Roberts        

Nicole Rightnowar, Fort Wayne

Kayla Principato, Denver   

Emma Willis, Denver

Sydney O'Shaughnessy, Neb.-Omaha   

Anne Rasmussen, South Dakota

All-League (Honorable Mention)

Cassie Baird, Denver

Abby Bergsten, Neb.-Omaha

Bella Sade, Neb.-Omaha

Mackenzie Steckler, Western Illinois

Katie Crowe, Fort Wayne

Cassidy Rooke, Denver

All-Freshman Team

Bella Sade, Neb.-Omaha   

Tina Boe, Denver    

Katie Crowe, Fort Wayne

Ellie Anderson, Denver      

Morgan Blomquist, Oral Roberts  

Claire Mountjoy, Neb.-Omaha      

Anna Blaschko, Neb.-Omaha       

Coach of the Year

Tom Hogan, Denver           

Freshman of the Year

Bella Sade, Neb.-Omaha   

Defensive Player of the Year

Mikaela Purnell, North Dakota St.

Setter of the Year

Brittany Jessen, South Dakota     

Player of the Year

Laura Milos, Oral Roberts 


Through 35 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 100,000 at eight institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Fort Wayne (Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne), North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University with the University of North Dakota becoming an official member on July 1, 2018. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced nine NCAA Champions along with over 90 Academic All-Americans, nearly 100 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague.


#SummitVB Players of the Week
September 11, 2017 #SummitVB Players of the Week