East Lansing, Mich. -- - Michigan State juniors Alyssa Garvelink (Holland, Mich.) and Autumn Bailey (Burlington, Ontario) have been selected to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-America teams. Garvelink is a Second Team pick, while Bailey earns Honorable Mention kudos, the third such honor in her career.
These are the 36th annual AVCA Division I All-America Teams for women's volleyball. The awards will be presented Dec. 16, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio at the AVCA All-America/Players of the Year Banquet. The event is held in conjunction with the 2016 AVCA Convention as well as the NCAA Division I Volleyball Championship.
Twenty-five Big Ten players are among the All-Americans, including 15 of the 42 First, Second, and Third Team selections. Seven First Team players compete in the Big Ten, along with five Second Team selections and three Third Team honorees. Garvelink and Bailey are the 14th and 15th Spartan athletes to earn All-America honors in program history – and Garvelink’s second-team selection is the highest honor since Lauren Wicinski was the same in both 2012 and 2013.All-time, MSU boasts four First Team and four Second Team honorees, and 19 All-America distinctions overall.
Each of the three AVCA All-America Teams is comprised of 14 athletes. This marks the second year all players representing the Honorable Mention All-Americans were selected by the selection committee (previously, players who made All-Region were automatically honorable mention if they didn't make one of the three teams).
“A tremendous amount of hard work from these two athletes not only allowed them to receive some of the highest honors in our sport, but also helped our team do exceptional things this season,” said head coach Cathy George. “Competing in the Big Ten is the most challenging level of collegiate competition, and both Alyssa and Autumn have stood out with their level of success. I’m not sure many outside of our program know the work that they had to put in to compete at the level they did this year, and to see them rewarded is special for all of us. This is not only an acknowledgement of the work this season, but the work that they put in since our last game in 2015 that allowed them to receive these honors. We’re so proud that these athletes have continued to help our program reach new heights.”
Garvelink, who showed tremendous growth in her first two collegiate seasons, has blossomed into one of the most outstanding middle blockers in the collegiate game. She ranks third in the Big Ten and 14th nationally in blocks per set (1.40), an average which ranks seventh in a single-season at MSU. Her 160 blocks on the season is sixth all-time in the single-season annals for the Spartans, as is her 145 block assists. She averaged 2.39 kills per set and hitting .359, which is good for seventh in the Conference and 56th among Division I players.
Garvelink is steadily ascending in the MSU career record book as well. Her 406 career blocks puts her in ninth place in the all-time Spartan annals, while her 362 block assists is sixth. Garvelink’s current 1.17 career blocks per set average ranks sixth in the MSU record book. Garvelink earned her first postseason Big Ten honors when she was named to the First Team in early December, and also the first AVCA post-season honors of her career.
Bailey, a two-time Honorable Mention All-America selection at Marquette before she transferred to Michigan State in the spring of 2015. The redshirt junior suffered an injury just four sets into the first match of the 2015 season, and was forced to miss the remainder of the season.
She returned to the lineup this fall to bolster both MSU’s offensive and defensive efforts as a six-rotation player, and earned Honorable Mention All-Big Ten honors. She led the Spartans in kills per set (3.15, 10th B1G), ranked second in digs (2.68/set) and fourth in service aces (0.27/set, 13th B1G). She compiled eight double-doubles on the season, which included a season-best 19 kills and 20 digs in a home victory over Michigan on Nov. 12.