BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Grace Blomstedt and Sarah Cruz were named the Mid-South Conference Co-Players of the Year, as Cruz was also named MSC Freshman of the Year, conference officials announced on Wednesday evening at the conference’s annual banquet.
It marks the sixth-straight year a Blue Raider has earned the top honor. Previous winners include Kailey Moorhead (2013), Yeniffer Ramirez (2014), Carol Siqueira (2015) and Mackenzi Montano (2016-17).
Blomstedt leads the MSC in blocks per set as she averages 1.1 a set. For the season she has produced 113 blocks, which is second most in the MSC and the 18th best in the NAIA. The senior from Red Oak, Iowa currently has the 8th most kills in Lindsey Wilson Program history with 833 as her 434 total blocks puts her fourth all-time.
Cruz becomes the seventh-consecutive Blue Raider to earn MSC Freshman of the Year honors and just the eighth all-time honoree in program history following Mirjam Pfyl (2008), Courtney Doyle (2012), Alexa Just (2013), Montano (2014), Ragni Knudsen (2015), Elly Burke (2016) and Paulina Sobolewska (2017).
Cruz is third in the MSC with 338 total kills as her 3.9 kills per set leads the conference. The Olomouc, Czech Republic native’s .348 attacking percentage is the best in the MSC as she also adds 48 blocks, the second most on Lindsey Wilson.
Blomstedt and Cruz were both named to the MSC First Team along with Burke, Klara Mikelova, and Sobolewska, while Lilo Larzelere and Autumn Proctor both earned spots on the Second Team.
Blomstedt and Burke both earn their third-straight First Team selection, while Sobolewska earns her second-career First Team honor, after also picking up the award in 2017 when she was named Freshman of the Year. Cruz, Mikelova, Larzelere and Proctor earn their first-career all-conference selection.
Burke has the second highest attack percentage in the MSC at .316, trailing only LWC teammate Cruz. She has the third most kills on the team with 169, averaging 2.3 kills per set to go along with 14 service aces, 35 blocks, and 315 digs which is the 11th best in the MSC.
Mikelova is in the top-20 of the MSC in seven different statistical categories on the season. The sophomore from Kurim, Czech Republic has 230 kills and the 8th best hitting percentage in the MSC at .232. She’s recorded the third most service aces in the MSC with 45, averaging 0.4 per set, adding the tenth most digs per set after averaging three, for a total of 300 on the season.
Sobolewska was the final Blue Raider to earn First Team honors as she has tallied 177 total kills, averages 1.8 kills per set, adding 173 digs and 32 blocks so far this season.
Larzelere has recorded the third most digs per set in the MSC averaging 4.3 as she has totaled 369 on the season in just 85 sets. Her 29 service aces are the third most for Lindsey Wilson.
Proctor has the fourth most assists per set in the MSC averaging 9.3 a set as her 749 total assists on the season is also the fourth most. The sophomore has added 65 kills and a .430 attack percentage as she has added 24 service aces and 136 digs.
Lindsey Wilson’s five First Team honorees and seven overall team selections are the most by any institution in the conference.
The top-seeded Blue Raiders open the MSC Tournament on Thursday as they battle eighth-seeded Pikeville (Ky.) at Noon CT at Bowling Green High School.