Sims Named AVCA Third-Team All-America
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Miami sophomore middle blocker Emani Sims has been named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-America Third Team, the organization announced Wednesday. She becomes the second player in program history to earn All-America status, joining Lane Carico (2010, 2011).
Additionally earning national recognition, junior right side Alex Johnson, sophomore middle blocker Alexis Mourning and senior setter Nrithya Sundararaman all were honorable mention AVCA Division I All-America.
Sims had one of the best seasons in program history at the net, leading the team with 160 total blocks. Her 1.39 blocks per set ranked second in the ACC and third in program history. The sophomore had at least five rejections in 16 matches, and a school-record 16 total blocks in a win at Clemson. This honor accompanies her All-ACC and AVCA All-Region selections.
The middle blocker also paced the Hurricanes with a .328 hitting percentage, with 285 kills (2.48/set) on the year. She recorded a career-high 18 kills in a contest against Middle Tennessee and later matched that versus Duke.
The Glenview, Ill., native earned ACC Player of the Week on two occasions, once for a 16-block, 16-kill performance at Clemson that also garnered her Collegiate Volleyball Update National Player of the Week. The 16 blocks were the most by any ACC player in a match this season. She also won the league weekly honor after posting 32 kills on a .500 hitting percentage in two home wins.
A total of three student-athletes from the ACC were named All-Americans, also including Ashley Neff (Florida State) and Monique Mead (Georgia Tech). All three teams will be honored at the Final Four in Louisville, Ky., this weekend. The Division I AVCA National Player of the Year will be announced Dec. 14 at the AVCA All-America/Players of the Year Banquet.
The three honorable mention selections bring the program to 13 since 2003.
Johnson, who has started every match in her career, displayed consistency throughout the season finishing amongst the top four on the team in attack percentage (.263), kills (282), assists (86), services aces (44), blocks (85.0) and digs (290). Recording nine double-doubles during the year, she won ACC Player of the Week after posting 16 kills and 16 digs in a win over No. 6 Florida State in September and nearly posted a triple-double in the NCAA tournament against College of Charleston (11 kills, 10 blocks, eight digs). This is her first national award, as she was named All-ACC and AVCA All-Region as well.
A force in the middle of the net, Mourning had a breakout season to add to already being named All-ACC and AVCA All-Region. The sophomore had 305 kills and 129 blocks, both ranked second on the team. Additionally being fourth in the ACC in blocks per set (1.22), she had 10 total blocks in a win over North Carolina to earn ACC Co-Player of the Week Oct. 8. The middle blocker tallied double-digit kills in 16 matches, with a minimum of five total blocks in 16 contests.
Sundararaman, the lone senior on the roster, was effective distributing the ball around the court for Miami, leading the ACC with 10.72 assists per set to receive All-ACC and AVCA All-Region honors. Totaling 1,201 assists this season, she ends her career with 2,358 to finish third in program history. She won ACC Player of the Week Nov. 19 after putting up 69 assists in her final two matches at home, adding five kills and seven digs against Boston College.
As a team, the Hurricanes finished the year 25-6 overall and 17-3 in the ACC to finish in second place. UM earned a spot in the NCAA tournament for the fourth-straight season.
The selections were made by the AVCA Division I All-America Committee: Santiago Restrepo, Oklahoma; Sherry Dunbar, Indiana; Lisa Seifert, SMU; Molly Alvey, Cincinnati; Jennifer Greeny, Washington State; Craig Skinner, Kentucky; Jeff Nelson, New Mexico; Tonya Johnson, Georgia Tech. The AVCA Awards Chair is Dayton head volleyball coach Kelly Sheffield.For all the latest information on Miami Hurricanes volleyball, follow the official Twitter feed, @CanesVB, or "Like Us" on Facebook at facebook.com/MiamiHurricanes. The program is also on Instagram (CanesVB).