Bears set to make gains in volleyball

While the 2019 Shawnee State volleyball unit didn’t have the most success in terms of the win-loss record, there’s plenty of optimism to be held.

Considering that the SSU program only loses one senior from 2019, and returns three juniors and five sophomores to the 2020 team, it’s clear that the Bears have a group of players which have the potential to deliver enhanced results over the coming year.

Rhoads tears up competition

A promising attack hitter throughout her freshman season, Macie Rhoads unquestionably proved herself as Shawnee State’s top attack hitter as a sophomore.

Coming off of an impressive freshman year where Rhoads notched 306 kills in 2018, the Circleville product improved in nearly every statistical category as a sophomore — totaling 465 kills, a .232 attack percentage, 369 digs and 634 service receptions this past season.

Those numbers all represented improvements from her freshman year, with Rhoads also improving her total assists and service reception percentage while matching her serving percentage.

She finished 25th in the NAIA in total kills, with 465 to her credit.

As a result of those improved numbers and the weight which Rhodes carried offensively, the 5-9 frontline player became the first SSU volleyball hand to earn First-Team All-MSC honors since Paige Zelich in 2013.

Heading into her junior year, Rhoads holds 771 kills and 658 digs, which puts the sophomore just 229 kills and 342 digs away from 1,000 for each category with two seasons left to play.

She’ll look to become just the third player in SSU history, following SSU Hall of Famers Becca Day and Jami Turrill, to hit 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs for a career.

In addition, her 771 kills rank 12th all-time in SSU history with two full seasons still left.

Her 465 kills in 2019 ranked fifth all-time for a single-season — following a year where Rhoads posted 15 games with double-digit kill totals.

Martin leaves behind influential career

In just three seasons, Stacia Martin easily proved herself as one of the best backline players in Shawnee State history.

Martin, the lone senior to graduate from the 2019 unit, needed just 13 games into her final season to eclipse the 1,000-dig mark for her career, doing so against Lawrence Tech (Mich.) in September.

She posted 20 or more digs in 13 of Shawnee State’s 34 games and set a career-high with 40 digs against Trinity International (Ill.) — en route to finishing 27th in the NAIA in total digs with 667.

For her career, Martin’s status as a highly-touted defender is proven in the following stats:

  • Third all-time in digs per game (4.04)
  • Fourth all-time in service receptions (1,692)
  • Fourth all-time in single-season digs per game (5.09)
  • Fifth all-time in career digs (1,454)
  • Sixth all-time in single-season digs (667)
  • 15th in service reception percentage (90.5)

In addition to accumulating the aforementioned statistics, Martin graduated in December 2019 with her bachelor’s degree from Shawnee State in Health Science.

Alexa Ball, a talented freshman which notched 287 digs in her freshman season as a defensive specialist, will have to help make up for that production, but has the ability to do so.

Kefauver, Kolinoff prove multi-dimensional abilities

In their first season as Shawnee State volleyball players, Alissa Kefauver and Maria Kolinoff proved to be vital to SSU’s cause.

Kolinoff, a junior transfer from Mount Vernon Nazarene, led the team in assists with 677 — a mark that ranks 14th in school history for a single-season.

The Canal Fulton native also finished third on the squad with 351 digs, fourth on the team with 167 kills, and added in a .954 serve percentage to boot to show off a well-rounded game.

Kefauver, a freshman from Hamilton Township High School in southeast Columbus, finished second on the team in kills and assists while also posting a stout .952 serving percentage.

The versatility of Kefauver and Kolinoff will be critical in Devan Scarberry’s first season as head coach.

SSU continues strong academic standard

Shawnee State’s volleyball program continued to set high standards inside the classroom, as the 2019 unit tied a school record with eight players making the All-Academic Mid-South Conference list.

With the inclusion of Martin, Rhoads, Maddie Payne, Isabella Gill, Nashail Shelby, Carson Isaac, Miranda Hickey and Alexis Palazzo on the list, SSU not only tied the record for All-Academic MSC student-athletes, but allowed the Bears to put five or more scholar-athletes on the team for the seventh time in eight seasons.

Scarberry, a standout player and student in her own right, finished her academic career with two All-Academic MSC honors and a cumulative 3.59 GPA.

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