Dayton, Tenn. – The Appalachian Athletic Conference is well represented on the 2016 NAIA All-Northeast Region Team, announced recently by the American Volleyball Coaches Association, and the Bryan College Lions Volleyball Team had the only AAC coach honored along with one Honorable Mention.
In all, the AAC placed seven on the first team with four others earning honorable mentions. Additionally, three others received individual honors as Natalie Jones of Bryan College is the Region Assistant Coach of the Year, Sundara Chinn of Tennessee Wesleyan is the Region Freshman of the Year, and Kendra Johnson of Montreat College is the Region Libero of the Year.
Chinn and Johnson each made the first team along with Rachel Andrews of Union College, Marissa Langford of Angelica Arroyo of St. Andrews University, Milligan College, Kellee Geren of Milligan, and Samantha Bruinius of Milligan.
Receiving honorable mentions are Nora Darrhar of St. Andrews, Kara Anderson of Columbia College, Marissa Elam of Union, and Shelby Enochs (SR/Cookeville, Tenn.) of Bryan.
In her first year on Bryan Athletics' Staff, Jones along with Head Coach Jessica Day, who was also in her first season at the helm of the program, guided the Lions to an 18-19 overall record and 13-9 record in conference play. Their efforts were good enough for a fourth place finish in the AAC. Bryan's season ended in the opening round of Conference Tournament play when Tennessee Wesleyan University upset the Lions in five sets (25-23, 25-21, 14-25, 21-25, 12-15).
In addition to assisting the varsity team, Jones also oversees the junior varsity squad. This year, the JV Lions pieced together an impressive 10-2 record including six sweeps.
Jones was a three-year standout for the University of Montana Grizzlies. During her time with the "Griz" (2011-2013), Jones was named to the Academic All-Big Sky Conference twice, while double majoring in psychology and communications. Prior to her time at the University of Montana, Jones was a graduate of the Western Montana Home School Association where she began her competitive club volleyball career at age seven.
"This was a well-deserved award for Coach Jones," said Day. "She has been an immense help to our program this season, and we are very blessed to have her. I'm proud of what Natalie has done so far for our program, and I can't wait to see what else she has to offer."
Enochs is a two-time All-AAC First Team honoree serving as the Lions' standout setter the past two seasons. She has compiled 2,537 assists, 731 digs, 212 blocks, and 211 kills during her career at Bryan. This season she tallied 1,077 assists, which ranks her 3rd in the AAC in total assists, and she has averaged 9.2 assists per set ranking her 3rd in conference. She has been a presence at the net defensively as one of Bryan's top blockers with 80 rejections this season, placing her at the No. 12 spot in the AAC in total blocks. She also ranks in the top-20 in the AAC in the total digs column with 307. Her setting numbers rank her 45th in the nation in total assists and 47th in assists per game. The AAC has recognized Enochs two times this year as the Conference Setter of the Week.
For a complete look at the all-region teams, click here.