INDIANAPOLIS – The Horizon League announced its volleyball All-League awards on Thursday (Nov. 15) and Purdue Fort Wayne’s Panna Ratkai was named the Offensive Player and Freshman of the Year, while Ashby Willis was named to the All-Freshman Team.

Ratkai is the first freshman in Horizon League history to be named the Offensive Player of the Year. She is the first Mastodon to earn a league Freshman of the Year honor since Nicole Rightnowar in 2015. Ratkai is the third Freshman of the Year in the program’s Division I history, joining Rightnowar and Emily Spencer. She is the fourth Offensive Player of the Year honoree, joining Katie Crowe (2021) and Fabiana Souza (2003, 2005). In addition to Offensive Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year, Ratkai earned a spot on the All-League First Team and All-Freshman Team. Ratkai led the Horizon League with 5.07 kills per set, over a full kill more than anyone else in the league. She added a league-best 0.56 aces per set. Defensively, she averaged 2.59 digs per set, which ranked 23rd in the league. She was one of two players in the league to be named Player of the Week four times. Ratkai had 12 matches with 20 or more kills, including two over 30, and just two matches in which she did not reach double-digits. She had 33 kills at IUPUI and 35 against Milwaukee. She was the only Horizon League player to have more than 26 kills in a match this season. Her 35 against Milwaukee were the sixth-most in a match in the NCAA this season. Nationally, Ratkai ranked seventh in the nation with 4.66 kills and 5.34 points per set for the season. Her 52 total aces rank 14th nationally.

Willis joined Ratkai on the All-Freshman Team. Willis improved as the season went along. She averaged 2.80 kills per set in league play and 2.75 overall. Her kills per set marks were 15th in the league. She had 13 matches in which she reached double-digit kills and seven that she had 10 or more digs. Willis had a season-high of 19 at Niagara and a league-only best of 18 against Cleveland State in the final week of the season. She had double-doubles against Kent State (Sept. 8), Milwaukee (Oct. 20), Oakland (Oct. 24), IUPUI (Oct. 28) and Cleveland State (Nov. 7).

Purdue Fort Wayne was the only Horizon League program to have two All-Freshman Team selections. It’s the first time since 2019 that Purdue Fort Wayne had two All-Freshman selections.

2023 Horizon League Volleyball Award Winners
Player of the Year: Callie Martin, Wright State
Offensive Player of the Year: Panna Ratkai, Purdue Fort Wayne
Defensive Player of the Year: Emily Wichmann, Oakland
Setter of the Year: Katie Meyer, Wright State
Freshman of the Year: Panna Ratkai, Purdue Fort Wayne
Sportsmanship Award: Calli Gentry, Green Bay
Coach of the Year: Travers Green, Wright State

All-League First Team
Liberty Torres, Cleveland State
Tiffany Paalman, Green Bay
Hannah Vanden Berg, Green Bay
Madi Malone, Milwaukee
Ari Miller, Milwaukee
Joy Banks, Northern Kentucky
Abby Kanakry, Northern Kentucky
Emily Wichmann, Oakland
Panna Ratkai, Purdue Fort Wayne
Megan Alders, Wright State
Callie Martin, Wright State
Katie Meyer, Wright State

All-League Second Team
Emma Walker, Cleveland State
Anna Burke, Northern Kentucky
Patti Cesarini, Oakland
Natalie Stepanovich, RMU
Jenny Wessling, Wright State
Reilly Zegunis, Wright State

All-Freshman Team
Grace Purichia, IUPUI
Ava Hoying, Northern Kentucky
Gentry Brown, Oakland
Panna Ratkai, Purdue Fort Wayne
Ashby Willis, Purdue Fort Wayne
Natalie Stepanovich, RMU
Reilly Zegunis, Wright State