Petersen earns MVC coach of the year nod, Payton takes player award - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Petersen earns MVC coach of the year nod, Payton takes player award


OMAHA, NEBRASKA (KWWL) -- University of Northern Iowa head volleyball coach Bobbi Petersen was named Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year and sophomore setter Bre Payton was tabbed MVC Player of the Year at the MVC Tournament awards banquet Thursday morning. Five other Panthers also picked up conference awards, including Amy Braun, who was named the Freshman of the Year. Shannon Aschoff, Ellie Blankenship and Michelle Burow were first-team all-conference selections, and Krista DeGeest was named to the all-freshman team.

This is the second time Petersen has been named MVC Coach of the Year, also picking up the honor in 2006. With a 256-72 overall record, Petersen ranks as one of the top 10 winningest active coaches in the nation. This season she led UNI to its fifth undefeated conference season, winning the MVC regular-season title for the fourth time in Petersen's tenure.

Payton is the only player in The Valley to notch a triple-double this season, and the Waterloo, Iowa native finished the season with six. She ranks second on the league in assists per set (10.46), fifth in hitting percentage (.317), ninth in aces per set (0.25) and 20th in digs per set (2.17). She holds a .385 set percentage, helping UNI to a league-best .268 attack percentage as a team. This is the first appearance on the first team for Payton, who was named to the all-freshman team a year ago.

Braun is the only freshman in the MVC to rank in the top 15 in kills, digs, aces and points per set in MVC matches. She reached double-digit kills in 14 matches, 12 in MVC play. She has 10 kill-dig double-doubles on the season.

Online reporter Mark Woodley

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