Blinn Buccaneer Setter Named National Player Of Year

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BRENHAM -- The American Volleyball Coaches Association honored Blinn College setter Kayla Schmidt with the sport’s highest award by naming her 2008 Two-Year Colleges National Player of the Year. Schmidt led the Lady Bucs to a 33-2 season and the program’s first national championship. She is the first Blinn player to receive the award.

“It’s not my doing,” Schmidt said. “All the passers, all the hitters, I couldn’t have done it without them and I thank them for their hard work.”

Head coach and athletic director David Rehr attributed the team’s success to Schmidt’s ball handling and leadership.

“She was the heartbeat of the team,” Rehr said. “She drove the rhythm, the tempo. Success went through her.”

Schmidt ranked third nationally in assists including 65 assists and 19 digs in the championship match against the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. On the season, she averaged 11.69 assists, 1.51 digs and 1.21 kills per set with a .375 hitting percentage.

This award comes on top of accolades for Most Valuable Player in the national tournament, and AVCA Two-Year Colleges First-Team All American, as well as all-tournament team and first team honors in Region XIV.

The 5’10” sophomore who grew up in Industry and played at Bellville High realized reaching the national championship placed her and her team in an elite group.

“This weekend, I was sitting in church in my hometown thinking what a long way I’ve come from a small school to Blinn where we’ve done some great things,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt will receive the National Player of the Year award at the AVCA banquet on Dec. 19 in Omaha, NE. Also over the holiday break, she plans to visit NCAA Division I universities to consider the next step in her collegiate volleyball career.

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