Western Washington University outside hitter Marlayna Geary has been selected the 2012 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Volleyball Player of the Year.
Geary, who was one of five unanimous selections on the all-conference first-team, ranks first in the GNAC this fall in both kills (4.16) and points (4.76) in leading the Vikings to a 23-3 record and their sixth GNAC title in the 12-year history of the conference. Ranked 14th nationally in kills and 15th in points, she received nine of a possible 10 first-place votes.
Also earning special awards were WWU libero Samantha Hutchinson, Alaska Fairbanks outside hitter Sam Harthun and two Alaska Anchorage players - outside hitter Julia Mackey and middle blocker Jodi Huddleston.
Hutchinson, who ranks fifth nationally and leads the GNAC in digs averaging 6.35 per set, was voted the GNAC Defensive Player of the Year, while Harthun and Mackey tied in the balloting for GNAC Freshman of the Year. Huddleston was selected as the GNAC Newcomer of the Year.
Harthun led the Nanooks and ranked fifth in the GNAC in kills (3.49 per set), while Mackey ranked ninth in kills (3.13) and also had 53 blocks. Huddleston averaged 1.96 kills and led UAA in blocks with 66.
WWU's Diane Flick was picked as the GNAC Coach of the Year for the seventh time. Flick (13th year, 273-73), who is a 1993 graduate of University of Washington, was also selected in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2010 when she directed the Vikings to GNAC titles. In 2007, WWU reached the title match of the NCAA Division II Tournament.
WWU led the all-star selections placing four players on the 14-person first team. Western Oregon had three first team selections, while Central Washington, Seattle Pacific and Alaska Anchorage had two each. Montana State Billings placed one player on the first team.
Unanimous selections included Geary, Central Washington outside hitter Marcy Hjellum, Western Oregon middle blocker Krissi Kemper and setters Laurie Yearout of WWU and Kimya Jafroudi of UAA. Yearout ranks fifth nationally and leads the league in assists at 13.12 per set.
Geary earned first-team honors for the third time. She was also voted to the first team in 2009 and last year. Outside hitter Danielle Reese of Western Oregon was also a first-team repeater from last year's team.
WWU middle blocker Emily Boerger received honorable mention.