(Posted November 25, 2004)

Rochester, MN - Juniata College senior setter Carli Dale (Cochranton/Cochranton) has been chosen as the 2004 American Volleyball Coaches Association Division III Player of the Year. She becomes the first Juniata player in the 29-year history of the program to earn the prestigious honor. The selection was announced at the 2004 NCAA Division III awards banquet held Thursday night in Rochester, Minn. The banquet honors the 2004 AVCA All-America Team, of which Dale was a member, as well as the four teams that will be playing Friday and Saturday night in the NCAA Division III semifinals and finals.

Juniata has had 29 different players earn volleyball All-American honorsâ�"the most of any NCAA institutionâ�"but had never seen a player earn Player of the Year status.

"I'm really honored and pretty amazed that I received this award," Dale stated. "Juniata has such a rich tradition of volleyball it's pretty overwhelming to be the first Juniata player to win it. I feel very fortunate, and really overwhelmed."

Dale has enjoyed a standout career as a four-year starter for the Eagles. She currently ranks second in school history with 6,296 assists, a total that also ranks her in the top-five in NCAA Division III history in career assists. Her assist per game total of 13.4 for her career is the highest in NCAA Division III history. She is a three-time All-American, including first-team All-America selections as both a junior and senior. Four times during her career she earned AVCA Mid-Atlantic All-Region honors, and is also a four-time All-Conference pick. She was chosen as the Commonwealth Conference Player of the Year each of the past two seasons.

"Carli is as thoughtful and intelligent a player as I've ever coached," Juniata Head Coach Larry Bock stated. "She does so many things well that she makes our job as coaches much easier. She is certainly worthy of this great honorâ�"along with all the other accolades she has receivedâ�"but for Carli, winning is her number-one priority. She is simply a winner."

Juniata has compiled a record of 136-19 during Dale's four years as the team's starting setter, a winning percentage of .877. She has helped the Eagles reach the national semifinals three times and capture four Commonwealth Conference Championships.

Statistically Dale ranks among the most accomplished players at her position in NCAA Division III history. In her junior year she ranked first in NCAA Division III in assists per game, and has been in the top-five in that category this season. She has brought-up 1,543 digs for her career, the fourth-highest total in school history. Among all the setters who have played for Juniata, Dale is the only one to rank in the top-10 in career assists and in career digs. She is also just outside a spot in the top-10 in career aces. Juniata ranked first in the nation in kills per game a season ago, and this year rank in the top-five in team hitting percentage. She holds three of the ten highest single-season assist marks in Juniata history, and her total of 1,613 is just 19 shy of tying her season best.

"It's a great honor to earn this award but that's not what the focus of our team is," Dale said. "We came here to win the national championship, and that's what our concern is."

Juniata will play NYU in one national semifinal Friday at 8 pm (EST).


Our readers respond...

Be the first to provide a response.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.