Times Staff Report
May 30, 2013
MOREHEAD – Morehead State University senior volleyball player Ellie Roberson has been voted the Ohio Valley Conference Female Athlete of the Year.
Following an All-American season in 2012, Roberson becomes only the second MSU female student-athlete to earn one of the league’s most prestigious honors and the first in 30 years. She joins former Eagle basketball standout Priscilla Blackford, who earned the award in 1982-83.
“Ellie has carried the badge of what being an MSU student-athlete means,” Head Coach Jaime Gordon said. “She has meant so much to our program, as an individual player with all her accolades, and as a team player in helping us win championships.
The Louisville native was named Honorable Mention All-America by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) and was also tabbed First-Team AVCA All-Midwest Region. Roberson, who moved to the right side hitter position in 2012, was selected as the OVC Volleyball Player of the Year and First-Team All-OVC. She was a catalyst in leading MSU to a 16-0 OVC record, just the eighth unblemished record in league volleyball history, and its third consecutive OVC regular season championship.
“This award is a tremendous honor for me,” Roberson said. “It means I have accomplished everything I set out to achieve as a volleyball student-athlete. My teammates were so instrumental in helping me along the way. It takes two other players touching the ball before it even gets to me, and I am fortunate enough to be the one who finishes the point.”
Roberson was a five-time conference Player of the Week and became the first player in program history to earn a National Player of the Week when she was honored by Collegiate Volleyball Update on Oct. 14.
Roberson led the OVC in kills (500) for the second straight season and also paced all league players in hitting percentage (.341) in the 16 OVC contests. She finished her career seventh in MSU history with 1,521 kills.
She led the league with 29 double-digit kill matches and turned in eight efforts of 20-plus kills and nine contests with a .400 or better hitting percentage.
“For Ellie to be recognized as the best female student-athlete in a conference with so many tremendous players is a testament to her hard work and determination to succeed,” Gordon said. “Ellie is also very humble. She always gives credit to her teammates, coaches, family and everyone else who has helped her achieve her goals.”
Roberson’s most notable matches of the year came on back-to-back days in October. She smashed 28 kills and hit .431 on Oct. 12 at Jacksonville State and outdid that the next afternoon with 32 kills with a .500 attack efficiency at Tennessee Tech.
“There are so many incredible student-athletes in the OVC, and just to be nominated is special,” Roberson said. “For me to be named the best female athlete in the OVC is a very humbling honor. I will cherish this for a long time.”
In addition to her athletic resume, Roberson served as the President of the MSU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee from 2010-12. A business administration major, she was named MSU’s Small Business Outstanding Student of the Year in 2013.
“Being a student-athlete here at Morehead State has taught me to be so much more than just a volleyball player,” Roberson added. “There are some days that I feel I have made even greater contributions off the court than on. I am so proud to represent my school in any way I can, and I really enjoy serving my community.”