Three Women’s Volleyball Players Receive AVCA All-American Recognition

ROCHESTER, NY – RIT senior outside batter Katie Hobler was named an American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III Third-Team All-American while senior outside hitter Taylor Higgins and freshman setter Sydney Neff has received honorable mention status, announced Tuesday.

Thirteen players have now won 23 All-America citations in program history. Hobler also gained third-team recognition in 2018 and is now the Tigers’ sixth multiple honorary title.

Hobler was recently named AVCA Region III and Liberty League Player of the Year, while landing for the third time for the all-region and All-Liberty League for the first team. She finished the season 13th nationally with 4.18 kills per set and 19th with 422 total kills, while leading the Liberty League with a 0.306 pass rate. Hobler also ranks 10th in the conference with 0.56 blocks per set. She racked up double-digit kill totals in all but three games this fall, including a season-high 22 against St. Lawrence in the Liberty League semifinals (November 5) and 21 on a .420 batting rate in the Tigers’ 3 -2 win opposite St. John Fisher (Oct 15). She also collected 21 kills to go with 11 digs and four blocks in RIT’s 3-2 win over Clarkson (September 24).

Higgins was named an all-region first-team squad last week after earning commendations in 2019. She also earned her fourth All-Liberty League honors in her career, including first-team rounds of applause in 2021 and 2019. Higgins finished third in the conference with 3.33 kills per set and is eighth with a 0.241 hit rate and ninth with 0.45 service aces per set. With a total of 17 double-digit kills, she racked up 22 kills with a .400 batting rate in the 3-1 win over Cortland (October 19). Higgins also scored 16 kills and 14 digs in the Tigers’ NCAA Tournament Regional Semifinal setback against Wesleyan en route to All-Tournament Team recognition.

Neff finished the season 10th nationally and first in the Liberty League with 10.58 assists per set, while leading the Tigers to 11th place with a 0.250 team pass rate. She also ranked second in the conference with a total of 889 assists, including at least 30 assists in 18 of the 26 games she played. Neff racked up a total of 59 assists in the season with Clarkson’s win and also had 52 assists along with 12 digs against St. John Fisher. She also racked up a total of three sets of season-high 42 assists, along with seven digs and four service aces in Framingham State’s 3-0 sweep by the Tigers in the NCAA Tournament opener.

RIT (25-5) finished with an undefeated 7-0 Liberty League for the first time in the program’s history before receiving a big bid for the program’s 12th NCAA Division III tournament. Ranked first in the region and awarded one of the tournament’s eight regional championship venues, the Tigers defeated Framingham State in last Friday’s opening round, before beating Wesleyan in Saturday’s second round.

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