Sailfish volleyball outside hitter Mariela Quesada has been named the American Volleyball Coaches Association National Christian College Athletic Association (AVCA NCCAA) Player of the Year and will be recognized at the AVCA annual convention in San Antonio on Friday.
In addition, Quesada will join other All-Americans and national players of the year for an autograph session on Saturday, and afterward they will be introduced during second and third set of the NCAA championship match.
In 2011, Quesada, a redshirt junior, led the Sailfish to a 30-5 record and an appearance in the semifinals of the NCCAA Division I Tournament, where they lost to No. 1 ranked California Baptist University. They won their second consecutive NCCAA South Regional championship, which earned them a No. 2 seed in the NCCAA National Tournament.
During the tournament, Quesada nailed an astounding 40 kills (.387 attack percentage) and 21 digs in the win over Trinity Christian to send the Sailfish to the semifinals. For her efforts, the Costa Rica native was named the Tournament's Most Outstanding Player and the NCCAA Division I Player of the Year.
On the season, she finished with 490 kills (4.80 kills per set), 42 service aces and 280 digs.
This is the second consecutive year in which Quesada has been recognized as NCCAA Player of the Year and been named to the NCCAA Division I Women's Volleyball All-America Team.
She is only the second PBA volleyball player to earn NCCAA Player of the Year honors. Former standout and PBA Hall of Famer Jackie Stanley earned the award in 2004.
At PBA, Quesada is studying sports management and finance. In 2010, she competed for the Costa Rica National Team at the World Championships in Tokyo, Japan.
The formal presentation of the 2011 AVCA NCCAA National Player of the Year will be made Dec. 16 in San Antonio, Texas at the AVCA All-America/Players of the Year Banquet presented by Zamst, held in conjunction with the 2011 AVCA Annual Convention and NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball National Championships.