INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WANE) – It only took one season for the Mastodons to stamp their names in the Horizon League record books. The League announced its end-of-season awards on Friday (March 26), and four Mastodons saw their names on the lists, including Katie Crowe, who was named the Horizon League Player of the Year.
Crowe was named both the Player and Offensive Player of the Year while also earning a place on the All-League First Team. Junior setter Madison Gates joined Crowe on the All-League First team, while senior middle blocker Sydney Boerst was selected to the All-League Second Team. Freshman middle blocker Ramei Jackson was named as one of the members of the All-Freshman Team.
Crowe is the first Mastodon to be named Player of the Year since Emily Spencer was the Summit League Player of the Year in 2014. Crowe is also the first Mastodon of any sport to be named Horizon League Player of the Year. In her first year in the League, she was named Player of the Week four times, more than any other player. She became the fourth player in Horizon League history to win the Player of the Week honor four times in a season. Crowe was the League-leader in kills per set at 4.23 and points per set at 4.67. The next closest player, Alexandra Zakutney, averaged 3.52 kills per set. In addition to her offensive numbers, Crowe has recorded 178 digs, which was 13th among all players in the League. This averaged to 3.18 digs per set. Crowe finished the regular season with 10 double-doubles in the 16-match slate. Crowe will have chance to repeat as Player of the Year, as she is electing to return for another season at Purdue Fort Wayne.
Gates was named to the All-League First Team after running one of the best offenses in the Horizon League. Under her leadership, the Mastodons were first in the League in hitting percentage (.258), second in kills per set (14.06), second in assists per set (13.08), and second in opponent digs (15.15) and blocks (1.66). The Mastodons’ .258 hitting percentage was the fourth-best in program history, but the best in the rally scoring era by a significant margin. Gates was also third on the team in digs per set with 2.95.
Boerst’s All-League Second Team selection came on the heels of having the second-highest hitting percentage among all players in the League. In her last season at Purdue Fort Wayne, she hit .329, which ties her own mark for 10th in program history in single-season hitting percentage, third in the rally-scoring era. Her .324 career hitting percentage is second in program history, and 22nd among all active Division I student-athletes. Boerst averaged 2.39 kills per set on the offensive end and 0.93 blocks per set on the defensive end. Her blocks per set clip was eighth in the Horizon League this season.
Jackson, the All-Freshman Team selection, started in 12 matches in her first trip through the League, knocking down 1.76 kills per set. Her .294 hitting percentage ranks sixth in the League. In addition to her prowess on the offensive end, she blocked 0.89 attacks per set, which also ranked in the top 10 among League members. She had a season-high 17 kills at Green Bay and a season-high seven blocks against Youngstown State.
Crowe, Gates, Boerst, Jackson and the rest of the Mastodon women’s volleyball team will be in action on Sunday, March 28 at top-seeded Wright State in the semifinal round of the Horizon League Championship. The Raiders, who are receiving votes in the AVCA Top 25, will welcome the Mastodons at 1 p.m. The match will be streamed on ESPN+.
#HLVB End of Season Awards
Player of the Year: Katie Crowe, Purdue Fort Wayne
Offensive Player of the Year: Katie Crowe, Purdue Fort Wayne
Defensive Player of the Year: Jenna Story, Wright State
Setter of the Year: Lainey Stephenson, Wright State
Freshman of the Year: Becca Oldendorf, UIC
Co-Coaches of the Year: Justin Ingram, UIC and Allie Matters, Wright State
#HLVB All-League First Team
Hannah Greene, Cleveland State
Alex Zakutney, Green Bay
Ari Miller, Milwaukee
Anna Brinkmann, Northern Kentucky
Miranda Wucherer, Northern Kentucky
Katie Crowe, Purdue Fort Wayne
Madison Gates, Purdue Fort Wayne
Paola Santiago, UIC
Celia Powers, Wright State
Teddie Sauer, Wright State
Lainey Stephenson, Wright State
Jenna Story, Wright State
#HLVB All-League Second Team
Jess Grabowski, Milwaukee
Ashton Terrill, Northern Kentucky
Jamie Walling, Oakland
Lindsay Wightman, Oakland
Sydney Boerst, Purdue Fort Wayne
Becca Oldendorf, UIC
#HLVB All-Freshman Team
Abby Miller, Cleveland State
Calli Gentry, Green Bay
Patti Cesarini, Oakland
Ramei Jackson, Purdue Fort Wayne
Martina Delucchi, UIC
Jaclyn Oblena, UIC
Becca Oldendorf, UIC