Western Washington University libero Samantha Hutchinson was named Great Northwest Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year for the straight season on the GNAC Volleyball All-Star Team announced Tuesday, Nov. 18, by the conference office.
Hutchinson was one of three Vikings named to the first-team. Also picked were middle blocker Kayla Erickson and outside hitter Rachel Roeder.
Two WWU players received honorable mention, outside hitter Kelsey Moore and setter Kristina Tribley.
Hutchinson, who currently is the NCAA Division II national leader in digs, averaging 7.23 per set, is the only player to win the GNAC Defensive POY award which was added prior to the 2012 season. She is averaging 1.32 digs per set more than the GNAC runner-up in that category this fall and has had 11 matches with 30 or more digs.
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Hutchinson and Erickson were both unanimous first-team picks and each was named for the third straight year.
Erickson, the 2013 GNAC Player of the Year, tied for second in this year’s POY balloting with three first-place votes. Northwest Nazarene University setter Michelle Terpstra took POY honors in perhaps the closest race in GNAC history, receiving four first-place votes.
Erickson ranks fourth among GNAC leaders in attack percentage (.307), fifth in kills (354, 3.44 avg.) and eighth in blocks (101, 0.98). She has posted double-figure kills in 23 matches this season.
Erickson was a three-time GNAC Player of the Week this year, earning offensive honors twice and the defensive accolade once.
Roeder is averaging 3.11 kills per set (314), outside hitter Kelsey Moore 2.98 kills (292), and Tribley leads the GNAC in assists per set at 11.02 (915).