Women's Volleyball Celebrates Season with Team Banquet

The women's volleyball team celebrated its season at Sauce Italian Grill in downtown Adrian on Saturday, Jan. 26 (Photo courtesy of Adrian Women's Volleyball).
The women's volleyball team celebrated its season at Sauce Italian Grill in downtown Adrian on Saturday, Jan. 26 (Photo courtesy of Adrian Women's Volleyball).

ADRIAN, Mich. – The Adrian College women's volleyball team celebrated its season on Saturday, Jan. 26 at Sauce Italian Grill in downtown Adrian. Five awards were presented in conjunction with recognizing the seniors, varsity awards, and participation awards.

There were two Offensive Players of the Year this year, with sophomores Liz Susitko and Alex Tobler taking home the awards. Susitko was the team's primary setter for the second year in a row and finished with 622 assists this year. Her career total of 1,375 currently puts her in sixth place in program history. Outside hitter Tobler finished second on the team in kills for the second straight year. She improved on her 157 mark from last year and finished with 192 this season.

Senior Olivia Welch finished her career this year and was named the team's Defensive Player of the Year. She led the team with 360 digs, eight shy of her career-high. Welch finishes her career with 1,336 digs, putting her in fifth-place in program history. She also racked up 28 service aces this year to put her second all-time with 126 in her career.

Three players were recognized for the Coach's Award, which recognizes the players who uphold the standards of the program and lead with positivity despite athletic contribution. Seniors Jessica Bubacz and Jordan Pizzo were given the Coach's Award, along with junior Emily Haas. Bubacz ended her career as a Bulldog after appearing in 77 sets as a part of 33 matches, including 48 set appearances this season. The setter finished with 181 career assists and 79 career digs. Pizzo was a key defensive player the last two seasons, finishing second in blocks last year and fifth in total blocks this year. The middle blocker finished with 65 total blocks in 168 career sets. Haas saw the most action of her career this year, playing in 11 matches and 15 sets. She picked up one assist and service ace and made two digs.

Two players received the award of Most Improved, with sophomores Karlee Techentin and Grace Welch picking up the award. Techentin greatly improved her numbers from last year and saw action in 45 sets this year. The defensive specialist made 172 digs this season, up from 19 digs a year ago. Welch found her offensive stride this year, finishing third on the team in kills with 102. The outside hitter appeared in twice as many sets this year from last and almost doubled her kills from last year. She also added 24 total blocks this season.

The final award given out was the Rookie of the Year, given to freshman Allison Ashurst this year. Ashurst played in 14 matches and 22 sets, finishing the year with 14 kills and two digs. She also assisted on three blocks.

Seniors Olivia Welch, Jessica Bubacz, and Jordan Pizzo were also honored for their four years of contributions to the program. They were given a framed varsity letter as a token of appreciation.

The Bulldogs finished 9-16 this season and made an appearance in the MIAA Tournament for the first time since 2016-17.


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