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SEC honors roll in for Mizzou volleyball; Sullivan named Coach of the Year


In her first year at the helm of Tiger volleyball, Mizzou head coach Dawn Sullivan was named one of the 2023 SEC Coaches of the Year, along with Jason Watson of Arkansas, Craig Skinner of Kentucky and Eve Rackham of Tennessee.

Sullivan led MU to a 17-12 overall record in 2023, including a .500 (9-9) mark in conference play. Her team surpassed both the program's 2021 and 2022 SEC win totals.

Her Tiger team was originally selected to finish 12th in the SEC preseason poll, but ended up seventh, overall.

It is the third Coach of the Year honor in Sullivan's career, as she was tabbed the Mountain West Coach of the Year at UNLV in both 2020 and 2022. She is also the third MU volleyball coach to earn the award, after Wayne Kreklow got it in both 2013 and 2016.

Sophomore Maya Sands also earned an SEC award, on Sunday. The conference named her the SEC Libero of the Year, after she paced the conference with 339 digs and 4.99 digs per set in SEC play. She followed Sullivan over from UNLV for the 2023 season and went on to be a two-time SEC Defensive Player of the Week and finished in double-digit digs in every match this season.

Sands is the first Tiger in program history to be voted the SEC Libero of the Year, which was first created in 2009.

The sophomore also made the All-SEC team, along with her teammate, rightside hitter Jordan Iliff.

Iliff, a junior from St. Louis, ranked eighth in the SEC in 2023 for points and 10th for kills in 2023. She won two conference Offensive Player of the Weeks and also paced the SEC with 31 aces through the conference slate.

Iliff also had 10 matches with at least 15 kills during her junior campaign, clocking 10 or more kills in 23 matches. The All-SEC honor is the first in her career at MU.

Finally, setter Sierra Dudley was one of the seven players to make the SEC All-Freshman Team. She ranked fifth in the SEC with 10,9 assists per set and was the top true freshman setter in the conference in 2023.

She won two conference Freshman of the Week awards, as she registered 19 or more assists in every SEC contest, including 30 or more in 14-straight matches from Sept. 24 to Nov. 12.

Mizzou volleyball will now look to make the postseason for the first time since 2020. The 2023 NCAA Tournament Selection Show is on Sunday, Nov. 26 at 5 p.m. on ESPN. If MU makes it, it would be the 18th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history.

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Nathalie Jones

Nathalie anchors and reports sports for ABC17. She started working at the station in June 2020.


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