Siqueira named AVCA Midwest Region Player of the Year
(SIOUX CITY, Iowa) Wanessa Siqueira was named AVCA Midwest Region Player of the Year and was joined on the AVCA Midwest All-Region team by senior middle Lauren Purdy, and both Park standouts were named Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes Friday (Dec. 6) by AVCA and NAIA officials in Sioux City.
Siqueira, a right-side from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, shattered a pair of single-season offensive records for the Pirates in her junior season, recording a school-record 632 kills on what was also a record 1,400 attempts. She became the first Pirate since Jilian Creighton, who played from 2001-2004, to reach 1,000 kills in a Park University uniform.
She has more than 1,300 career kills, including her freshman season at Hannibal-LaGrange, and Siqueira's 100 blocks this season became the fifth-best blocking total in the 25-point era. She finished the year with 304 digs. Her on-the-court achievements earned the regional player of the year award, and her 3.88 grade point average in business management put her on the Daktronics-NAIA Volleyball Scholar-Athlete team. Last season, Siqueira was honorable mention on the AVCA's Midwest All-Region team.
"Wanessa really broke out this season and became our go-to option through a lot of the year," said Park coach Mike Talamantes. "She became a leader, and her best volleyball is still in front of her. More important, she takes care of things in the classroom, first, and that really makes what she does on the court remarkable."
Purdy also took care of the classroom and the court in 2013, leaving Park as its most efficient hitter in school history by hitting .359 for the season, upping her career percentage to .349. Purdy's 3.83 grade point average in communications earned a spot on the Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete team, and she ended her playing career with 856 kills at Park and more than 1,100 in her two school career, adding numbers from West Texas A&M University. The AVCA All-Region designation was Purdy's second trip to the Midwest Region's first team.
Originally from Arlington, Texas, Purdy had 439 kills in 2013, second only to Siqueira in the single-season record book during the 25-point era. She also became Park's top career blocker from the 25-point era, finishing 2013 with 118 blocks and her Park career with 232, 33 blocks better than Ashley Robinson's previous record of 199.
"You can't say enough about what a player like Lauren brings to a program, and we can't replace that," said Park coach Mike Talamantes. "You have to try and find ways to fill that void, but what Lauren brought to the court was only part of what she did for our program. She was our leader in the locker room and on the bench. You can't replace that."
Purdy and Siqueira were also first-team all-conference honorees in the American Midwest Conference, where Siqueira was the league's 2013 Player of the Year, leading Park to a 35-7 finish that ended with a win in the pool play round of the NAIA Volleyball National Championship final site, presented by J&L Enterprises and CNOS Foundation. The Pirates tied for the regular-season championship at 10-1 in the AMC and fell to No. 12 Columbia in the championship match, finishing the regular season ranked 13th in the Tachikara-NAIA Volleyball Coaches Top 25 Poll.
To earn AVCA All-Region designation, players are nominated by their coaches and the Midwest Region team is selected by Midwest Region coaches.
AVCA Midwest All-Region Team
In order to be nominated by an institution's head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status to qualify for this honor. The NAIA honored 391 volleyball student-athletes with the award.
Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes (Sorted by School)