Des Moines, Iowa - The Midwest Collegiate Conference has announced it volleyball All-Conference honors. Twenty-six athletes were recognized as part of the All-Conference Teams as voted by the coaches; twelve to the First Team and fourteen to the Honorable Mention Team.
For the second consecutive year, William Penn University senior setter Sheila Mercado (San Sebastian, Puerto Rico) was voted as the MCC Player of the Year. Mercado led the in assists per game (10.8) and was second in assists (324). She was named the MCC Setter of the Week seven times this fall.
"Sheila is a great setter as everyone knows. However, most people don't get the chance to see more than the tremendous competitor she is on the court. Off the court, she is the heart and soul of our team and a wonderful person to be around. She is a true student-athlete as well that maintains a high GPA and strong course load," said William Penn head coach Jeremy Wise.
Viterbo University junior Heather Harelstad (Chippewa Falls, Wis.) was again voted as the MCC Libero of the Year. She also claimed the Libero of the Year award in 2007. Harelstad was second in the MCC in digs per game (5.18). She was named the MCC Libero of the Week four times.
"Heather has been such an asset for our team and a lot of our success is related to her outstanding play. Heather has proven herself to be one of the best players in the MCC. I am very proud of her and her accomplishments," said Viterbo head coach Ryan DeLong.
Viterbo freshman outside hitter Amy Braaksma (Randolph, Wis.) was deemed the MCC Newcomer of the Year. Braaksma was seventh in the MCC in hitting percentage (.288) and eight in kills per game (2.89).
"Amy stepped in this year and played an outstanding role for us. Amy was able to learn quickly and defiantly did not play like a freshman. I look for huge things in the future from Amy, she will be fun to watch over the next 3 years," said DeLong.
"As a first year coach in our program, Coach Wise has done an outstanding job. His players quickly adjusted to his coaching style and his hard work is a direct result
of their success. We are fortunate to have him here at William Penn," said William Penn athletic director Greg Hafner.