Volleyball Looks Back at 2014 Season at Annual Banquet

Jan. 30, 2015

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky volleyball team wrapped up a record-setting 2014 season with its annual team banquet last Friday.

In addition to celebrating the 2014 season and honoring the senior class, two postseason awards were introduced. Senior Lauren O’Conner earned the Breakout Award, as voted on by the UK volleyball coaches and staff, while fellow senior Alyssa Gergins earned the Player’s Award, chosen by her teammates.

“The banquet was a great opportunity for us to look back on the 2014 season and honor our senior class one more time,” UK head coach Craig Skinner said. “To be able to introduce two new awards this year, and have Lauren and Alyssa be voted to win those awards by the players and staff was great. They have played an important part in our success throughout their careers, and we as a staff are happy to have been able to honor them for their accomplishments and contributions to the program.”

The Breakout Award is presented to the team member who has displayed the most significant improvement on the court. Over the course of the year, they have also committed to reaching their potential as a student-athlete.

Chosen by her teammates, the Player’s Award is presented to the athlete who most represents what it means to be a Kentucky Volleyball player. She exemplifies passion, toughness, and work ethic on a daily basis, while placing priority on the team and its goals before her own.

As a senior, O'Conner had one of the most explosive seasons in program history. A two-time Southeastern Conference Player of the Week honoree, the Taylor Mill, Ky., native became the 15th Wildcat to record 1,000 career kills and capped her career with 1,204, second-most in UK history in the 25-point rally scoring era and 12th all-time. In 2014, the senior led UK with 379 kills, fifth-most in a single season in program history, 34 aces, tied for fourth in team history and 448.5 points in 2014, fifth in the UK record books, all in the 25-point rally scoring era.

A valuable leader as one of UK’s setters the past two seasons after transferring from Master’s College, Gergins appeared in eight matches as a senior. She recorded a career-high 12 assists, three digs, one kill and one service ace in her senior season. Gergins posted a career-best three assists in UK’s win over Morehead State, and had one kill and once service ace in a win over Tennessee. A Murrieta, Calif., native, Gergins is an All-SEC Academic Team honoree.

The Wildcats posted a 27-6 record in 2014, the most wins in a season since 2011 and the third-most in Skinner’s tenure.

Junior setter Morgan Bergren was named a Second-Team All-America selection by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA), and seniors Jackie Napper and Lauren O’Conner and sophomore Anni Thomasson earned All-America honorable mention honors. The four Wildcats to earn All-America accolades set a single-season program record.

Bergren, Napper, O’Conner and Thomasson were also named to the AVCA All-Region Team, tied for the most All-Region accolades in one year in team history.

In the Southeastern Conference, Napper was named the league’s Libero of the Year, and Bergren, Napper, O’Conner and Thomasson earned a spot on the All-SEC Team and freshman Kaz Brown was an All-Freshman Team honoree.

Visit UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information on the Kentucky volleyball team and all 22 varsity sports. For additional info on the volleyball team like Kentucky Volleyball on Facebook or follow the team on Twitter at @KentuckyVB.