After a 26-2 season, the Texas Wesleyan volleyball team is getting noticed. Five Rams received postseason honors in the Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC), including Defensive Player of the Year, Co-Setter of the Year and Freshman of the Year.
After a record-setting season averaging 6.58 digs per set, good for second in the NAIA, defensive specialist Andrea Malek was named SAC Defensive Player of the Year. The 7-time SAC Defensive Player of the Week entered the season with some unfinished business — she was named All-SAC Honorable Mention to end the 2021 season. Malek responded with a record-setting season at Texas Wesleyan — if the season ended today, she would top the SAC in digs per set and move firmly into 5th place in the Texas Wesleyan single-season digs table.
The departure of 2021 SAC All-First Team setter Morgan Burns had the possibility to leave a hole in the Rams' offensive attack, but sophomore Ruby O'Brien stepped up to fill her shoes. The setter from San Antonio took home the SAC Co-Setter of the Year Award and served as the anchor for the offense, dishing out7.76 assists per game — good for fourth in the SAC. The 4-time SAC Setter of the Week also dished out 40+ assists in a match three times in the 2022 season and set a personal best with 54 assists against Wayland Baptist in the SAC Tournament Quarterfinals.
To wrap up the honors, outside hitter Sydney Alexander snagged the SAC Freshman of the Year Award. The freshman from Houston produced 1.97 kills and 0.70 blocks per set and recorded an impressive 15 kills and 7 blocks during the Nov. 1 game vs top-ranked Southwestern Assemblies of God.
In total, five Rams were named to the All-SAC Teams:
All-SAC First Team
All-SAC Second Team
"I am incredibly proud of this group because they continuously find a way to get it done," said Head Coach Jessica Ransom. "We knew this would be a rebuilding year with many new faces, but these young women stepped up and continued the successful tradition of TXWES Volleyball. It has been a total team effort, and we are excited to continue our journey at Nationals."
The Rams will face off on the road against Hastings College at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19 at to start their run in the NAIA Tournament. Last season, the Rams made it all the way to the finals site — a success that the team hopes to take even further this year.