FOREST, Va. – Five members of Virginia Wesleyan University volleyball team were named to the 2019 All-Conference Teams by the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC). Amber Matalus earned a spot on the First Team while Greta Coss was an All-ODAC Second Team Selection. Lauren Topper, Alyssa Taylor and Haley Sutton were all named to the Third Team. Also receiving recognition for her performance was Coach Andrea Hoover-Erbig who was tabbed the conference's Coach of the Year.
It was another impressive year for the returning All-American as Matalus earned her second-straight First Team nod. The senior topped the team charts with 335, ranking her second in the ODAC and first among middles. Matalus also eclipsed 1,000 kill mark in the win over Roanoke on November 6th making her just the sixth player to do so in VWU history. Offense wasn't the only thing in the Colorado Springs, Colo. native's bag of tricks as she also racked up a career-high 91 blocks and 107 digs. At the service line, Matalus collected 35 helpers as well. Matalus has been recognized for her performance this year as well, collecting ODAC Player of the Week honors on November 4th.
In just her first year on the squad, Greta Coss made an immediate impact from the opposite side. Appearing in all but one match this season, Coss ranked third on the Marlin team in both kills (259) and kills-per-set (2.38). Over the 33 matches, the transfer reached double-digit kills in seven of them including a season-high 18 against Bridgewater on October 16th. Coss also pitched in defensively, collecting 84 total blocks and 38 assists.
Sticking on the right side, Topper also turned in a solid 2019 campaign. Appearing in 23 matches, the senior turned in career-highs in nearly every statistical category. Over 71 sets played, Topper churned out 207 kills, nearly 100 more than any other season. She has also collected 28 blocks which eclipsed last year's season-high. One of her top performances came in a 3-1 victory over Bridgewater as her 21 kills set a new personal record.
Aiding the offense all season long was Haley Sutton, who was one of the Marlins primary setters. In just her first season, the freshman led the team in assists with 663. Playing in all 35 matches, Sutton hit the double-digit assist mark in all but two games and reached 30-plus assists in four. Sutton also was able to score some points as her signature "dump" registered as 38 kills. From the service line she was a threat as well, collecting 43 aces on the season.
Rounding out the All-conference list was the team's primary libero, Alyssa Taylor. The senior easily had her best season to date, as her 508 digs not only leads the team but also is nearly 150 more than any previous season of hers. A backrow specialist, Taylor reached the 1,000 dig mark this year as she picked up 13 digs in a win over Penn State-Behrend in October. When the setter took the first ball, Taylor also went into action as she recorded 70 assists leading the non-setters on the squad.
For the second time in her career, Coach Andrea Hoover-Erbig was tabbed the ODAC's Coach of the Year. Most recently, Coach Hover-Erbig guided the team to its first ever ODAC Championship title, downing top-seeded Randolph-Macon, 3-1, in the final. This season she has also coached the team to the most wins in program history (28-7), eclipsing the 25 win mark set in 2015. To add to her list of accolades, Coach Hoover-Erbig has had five members of her squad recognized as All-ODAC, which is the most in the program's history.
Volleyball will return to action next week as they have earned the conference's automatic bid and will compete in the 2019 NCAA Championship. The selection show is set for 12:30 p.m. on Monday.