photo courtesy of MSU-WP

Six Grizzly Volleyball players named to All-Region 16 Team

4 named to MCCAC All-Conference Team, Figueiredo named Coach of the Year
Six members of the Grizzly Volleyball team at Missouri State University-West Plains (MSU-WP) were named to the NJCAA All-Region 16 Team during the recent region championship tournament.
They include: freshman outside hitter Rosa Brençiç, Ljubljana, Slovenia, most valuable player; freshman outside hitter Gibby Beckler, Conway, first team; freshman setter Caroline Glatkowski, Erfurt, Germany, first team; freshman middle blocker Maja Bochenek, Olkusz, Poland, first team; freshman libero Eduarda Portes, Curitiba, Brazil, second team; and freshman middle blocker Kaitlyn Aleshire, Chicago, Illinois, second team.
More about the MVP
Brençiç ended the season ranked eighth in the nation in total kills with 450, and Grizzly Volleyball Head Coach Paty Figueiredo said she has the numbers to be ranked among the top scorers in the team's history.
She had 450 kills on 1,249 attempts with 198 errors for an attacking percentage of .202 this season. She also had 324 digs, 37 blocks, 30 service aces and 501.5 points earned this season.
"Rosa has been a leader on and off the court. She grew as a player understanding her role on the team and finished the year being the key player for our team all around. She stood out in Region 16, and I am excited to see what she will accomplish in her sophomore year," Figueiredo said.
First team honorees
Beckler followed Brençiç in total kills this season with 244. She also had 21 service aces, 249 digs, 44 blocks, an attacking percentage of .175 and 294.5 points earned.
"Gibby grew as a player and leader on the court throughout the season," Figueiredo said. "She worked hard on being consistent and understanding the game plan and team tactics while reducing her unforced errors. She always looked forward to the opportunity to be on the court."
Bochenek led the Grizzlies' defensive efforts at the net with 92 blocks, including 15 solo blocks. She had 219 kills on the season and 14 service aces and recorded 286.5 points earned.
"Maja is a strong physical player who found a way to connect with our setter and score more points at the net," the coach said. "As a middle blocker, her ball control and great serving were also important to the team's defensive system and transition. She doesn't realize the level she could play, and I'm sure her sophomore year will be better with more maturity and understanding of the game.
As the starting setter, Glatkowski led the Grizzlies in assists this season with 961. She also had 282 digs, 49 blocks and 28 service aces.
"As a 6-foot, 2-inch setter, Caroline added a lot of size to our team and was our 5-1 setter the entire season. She has strong hands and is willing to use her hands on the high balls and long distance. She was very consistent with her sets, especially to the pin hitters," Figueiredo said.
Second team honorees
Portes led the team aces and digs, with 41 and 350, respectively. "She added size and ball control to our back row and was very consistent on serve receive. She did a great job using her hands on serve receive and setting the ball in transition," Figueiredo said.
Aleshire recorded 170 kills and 71 blocks, including a team-leading 17 solo blocks, and had 217 points earned this season.
"Kaitlyn was a team player on and off the court. Her positivity and energy were very important to our team this season." Figueiredo said. "She sets up a big block at the net and is always committed to giving her best and contributing to the success of the team. Her timing with Caroline improved throughout the season, and she is focused on improving her ability to read the game to better help our defensive system. I am excited to watch her grow."
MCCAC awards
Figueiredo also learned Monday, Nov. 13, that four Grizzlies were named to the Missouri Community College Athletics Conference (MCCAC) All-Conference Team.
Brençiç, Beckler and Bochenek were named to the first team, and Glatkowski was named to the second team.
In addition, Figueiredo was named the MCCAC 2023 Coach of the Year. The Grizzlies posted a 5-1 record in the conference in her first season at the helm.
For more information about the Grizzly Volleyball team, visit its website at MSUWPGrizzlies.com.
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