Five Knights Earn Conference Awards

ORLANDO, Fla. – Five Knights were honored by the American Athletic Conference on Tuesday, as the league announced the 2021 AAC volleyball awards.
McKenna Melville was named the Player of the Year while Amber Olson was named the Setter of the Year.
Along with Melville and Olson, Anne-Marie Watson and Claudia Dillon were named to the All-Conference First Team and Nerissa Moravec garnered second team honors.
The preseason prediction became reality as McKenna Melville earned the Player of the Year award for the second year in a row. She was also unanimously named to the All-Conference First Team for the fourth-straight time.
"That's what she deserves," head coach Todd Dagenais said, "That is what she deserved all year long. She went out and she put up the numbers to back it up. She owned the Player of the Week all season long and was our most dependable go-to player all year. She was clearly the best player in the conference this year as an all-around player. I'm really proud that she was able to defend her Player of the Year title."
The Eagan, Minnesota native leads the NCAA Division I in points with 657.5 and in kills 578 this season. She also ranks fourth in attacks (1,427), fifth in points per set (5.67), and seventh in kills per set (4.98).
A true six-rotation player, Melville has shined defensively as she leads the team in digs with 351 (3.03 per set). The senior also leads the team in block solos with 15 this season while she has recorded 63 block assists.
Melville is an all-around threat, picking up 17 double-doubles so far this season and 69 in her career.
The outside hitter has also racked up seven offensive player of the week honors this season, marking 14 in her career.
Amber Olson was named the Setter of the Year, becoming the first Knight to do so since joining the American. Olson was also named to the All-Conference First Team for the first time in her career.
"Amber put up All-American numbers once we completely switched to the 5-1 offense," Coach Dagenais said, "I think how lethal we were as an attacking team was because of her ability to do her job as a lead setter and this is one of, it not, the most potent offenses we've ever had, and it starts at her hands. I'm glad that the conference coaches recognized the impact that she had on our team and gave her the setter of the year."
The Cary, Illinois native leads the team with 1,155 assists, 9.96 assists per set, and 39 aces. Since switching to a 5-1 rotation in conference play, the senior leads the American with 11.16 assists per set.
Olson has notched 10 double-doubles this season, marking her 30th of her career. She has also recorded 258 digs and 56 blocks for the Knights.
Another preseason prediction was proven correct as Anne-Marie Watson was unanimously named to the All-Conference First Team for the third time in her career.
"Anne-Marie has been as steady as any player we've had and I'm glad that she gets recognized on the first team where she deserves," Coach Dagenais, "I think that conference honor is a great way to finish your career."
The Oviedo, Florida native is a dual threat for the Knights as both an attacker and a blocker as she is second on the team in points (352.5), kills (292), and in total blocks (116). She broke the program career record in blocks assists and is fifth in active NCAA Division I career leaders with 572 total blocks.
The right-side hitter has also earned an offensive player of the week honor this season.
In her first season as a Knight, Claudia Dillon earned All-Conference First Team honors. Since joining UCF, the middle blocker has been a threat at the net both offensively and defensively.
"Claudia transferred to UCF because she felt like she could contribute to a team in a bigger way and undoubtedly, is one of the top middles in the conference," Coach Dagenais said, "Being in the top in hitting percentage, having a high level of kills per set puts her up for All-American position. She came here and fulfilled the reason why she wanted to transfer here and helped the team in the process immensely."
The Evergreen, Colorado native is third on the team in points (267), in kills (188), and blocks (92). She has also been dangerous behind the service line, recording 31 aces this season. Her hitting percentage of .379 ranks 42nd in the nation.
Dillon was named the defensive player of the week once while then earning offensive player of the week the following week.
Nerissa Moravec was named to the All-Conference Second Team for the second time in her career. The Lincoln, Nebraska native has been the anchor to UCF's blocking game that currently ranks fourth in the nation with 318.5 team blocks and is 10th with 2.75 blocks per set.
"Nerissa has always been an unsung hero because she's given up so much on the offensive end to be great on the blocking end," Coach Dagenais said, "So for her to get recognized on the second team without major amounts of kills and kill per set, speaks volumes about what she does for us. I'm glad the coaches recognized what she does for our team as a blocking middle and what she did this past weekend against the number two team in the conference."
The middle blocker most recently broke two program match records with 14 total blocks and 13 block assists.
Moravec leads the conference and is 12th in the nation with 1.39 blocks per set and eighth with 145 total blocks. She is one of the top NCAA Division I active career leaders in blocks per set (ninth) and total blocks (526).
The redshirt-senior has also been named the defensive player of the week two times this season, marking four total in her career.
The Knights also garnered All-Conference attention in other respects as Todd Dagenais was named the Coach of the Year.

Back in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth season in a row, Dagenais and the Knights will open the tournament against Pepperdine on Friday, December 3 in Los Angeles, California. The first-round match is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.

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Player of the Year: McKenna Melville, Sr., OH, UCF
Libero of the Year: Kate Georgiades, So., Houston
Setter of the Year: Amber Olson, Sr., UCF
Freshman of the Year: Abby Walker, Fr., MB/OPP, Cincinnati
Coach of the Year: Todd Dagenais, UCF
All-Conference First Team
Claudia Dillon, Jr., MB, UCF
McKenna Melville, Sr., OH, UCF*
Amber Olson, Sr., S, UCF
Anne-Marie Watson, 5th, RS, UCF*
Maria Mallon, Sr., OH, Cincinnati
Kate Georgiades, So., DS/L, Houston
Abbie Jackson, Jr., OH, Houston
Rachel Tullos, Jr., MB, Houston
Rachel Woulfe, Sr., OH, SMU*
Lexie Douglas, R-Sr., OH, Tulane
Kayley Cassaday, Jr., OH, Tulsa
Brylee Kelly, R-So., OH, Wichita State*
All-Conference Second Team
Nerissa Moravec, R-Sr., MB, UCF
Abby Walker, Fr., MB/OPP, Cincinnati
Annie Cooke, So., S, Houston
Alex Glover, Jr., MB, SMU
Hannah Jacobs, Sr., OH, SMU
Kayla Dinkins, Sr., MH, Tulane
Natalie Foster, Fr., MB/RS, Wichita State
Kayce Litzau, So., S Wichita State
*denotes unanimous selection