Volleyball Reaps Multiple GSAC Honors

Submitted by: Ron Smith - November 15th, 2016



Top: (l-r): Libby Dahlberg, Kami Troesh, Taylor Beckman, Jessica McMann. Bottom (l-r): Mila Maricic, Cassidy Rae, Patti Cook, Ruth McGolpin

Westmont Volleyball, the top-ranked team in the NAIA with a record of 31-0, has received multiple honors from the Golden State Athletic Conference. In addition to five Warriors named to the All-GSAC team, Libby Dahlberg, Kami Troesh and Cassidy Rea were recognized with the conference’s annual player awards. The coaching staff also was honored with head coach Patti Cook named the GSAC Coach of the Year and Ruth McGolpin named the GSAC Assistant Coach of the Year.

Named to the All-GSAC Team were junior outside hitter Taylor Beckman of Lake Oswego, Oregon; junior middle blocker Mila Maricic of Harbor City; senior outside hitter Jessica McCann of Lemoore; Dahlberg who is a sophomore middle blocker from Sacramento and Troesh, a senior libero from Newport Beach.

Dahlberg was honored as the GSAC Player of the Year while Troesh was recognized as the GSAC Libero of the Year. Rea, a right-side hitter from Ventura, was named the GSAC Freshman of the Year.

Leading the GSAC in both attack percentage (.399) and blocks (1.25 per set), Dahlberg dominated play at the net during the season. Dahlberg connected for a team-high 287 kills (2.79 per set). Defensively she tallied 31 solo blocks and 98 block assists. Last season, Dahlberg was named the GSAC Freshman of the Year. This is the second time she has been named to the All-GSAC team.

“Libby is very well deserving of this award,” said Cook. “Receiving Freshman of the Year last year set her up to have a stand-out season. She has stood out on a stand-out team. When she goes into beast mode, she is unstoppable.”

Anchoring the Warrior’s back line, Troesh tallied 5.11 digs per set for the Warriors. She also recorded a serve reception percentage of .952 with 415 successful passes.

“It feels really good to see Kami named the Libero of the Year,” said Cook. “I felt like she really played well for us last year and the two years before that. It is hard to get liberos nominated for all-conference. For her to get all-conference as well as Libero of the Year is tremendous. She has been a key part of our defense and serve receive. She is the foundation of our offense and extremely well deserving.”

Beckman, an all-around player, was second on the team in kills with 282, recording 2.74 per set and posting a .244 attack percentage. Defensively, she provided the Warriors with 30 blocks and a team-high 585 serve receptions (.964 serve receive percentage). She also added 310 digs (3.01 per set).

“Taylor is a repeat All-GSAC recipient and I am very proud of her getting this award,” said Cook. “She has improved incredibly from her freshman year. She has established herself as one of the best players on this team. She shows up in all areas of our statistics and is a crucial piece to this team’s success.”

McCann averaged 2.26 kills per set and tallied 231 on the year. McCann also recorded 35 blocks on the season.

“Jessica is also a repeat awardee,” pointed out Cook. “This is a great honor for her because she has had some shoulder problems this year. She has learned to play through that and around that and to save her shoulder by finding different ways to score. She has been creative with her offense and has learned that a kill is a kill. She has grown in her patience and her intelligence of the game.”

Maricic posted a .304 attack percentage while connecting for 1.50 kills per set. Defensively, Maricic’s contributions came in the form of 75 blocks. (0.78 per set).

“Mila’s All-GSAC selection was a lot of fun,” said Cook. “We call Mila the silent assassin – the Ninja. A lot of what she does, doesn’t show up on stats. I’m thrilled that the rest of the coaches in the GSAC recognize the impact she has on this team. She came into this year injured and has fought through a lot of pain to make a really big impact on the team.”

Rea made significant contributions to the Warriors success in her first collegiate season. Posting a .343 attack percentage, Rea connected for 174 kills (1.96 per set). She also produced 70 blocks.

“Cassidy has blown me away with her steady play all year long,” said Cook. “I am thrilled that see received this award. It shows the incredible work that she put in over the summer, at the beginning of the season and all throughout the season. She comes by it honestly with a lot of hard work and a lot of dedication. I am really excited about her future in this program.”

Cook entered her sixth year as Westmont head coach with a record of 93-52 (.641). One regular season later, she has increased her winning percentage to .705 (124-52). Cook guided the Warriors to their first GSAC Championship since 1993. While winning all 16 conference games, the Warriors gave up just one set, producing a set record of 48-1.

Regarding her own award, Cook said, “I see it more of a team award. No coach can do this without a team right along beside them and this team has been incredible. I see it as a testimony of how incredible this team is and how wonderful this season has been.”

McGolpin, in her second year with Westmont, has contributed to the Warriors success in a variety of ways, especially in her work with Westmont’s setters Alexa Nestlerode and Amy Buffham.

“Ruth has been a powerhouse of an assistant,” noted Cook. “She has worked tirelessly in and out of the gym, putting in extra hours with our setters and other people on the team. She has been my right-hand women and I am super thrilled she got the award. She was always assistant coach of the year in my mind. I’m glad we can publicly acknowledge the work she has put in to make this program successful.”

The Warriors enter postseason play as the number one seed in the NAIA National Championship. Having received an opening round bye, the Warriors will begin play on Tuesday, November 29 at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa with three days of pool play.