University of Central Arkansas senior setter Marissa Collins added more major honors to her career Wednesday.
She was named both the Southland Conference’s Player of the Year and Setter of the Year, marking the third time in her career to be honored as the conference’s top setter.
She is the first player in SLC history to win both top player and setter honors in the same season.
The Pearland, Texas, native is also the first Sugar Bear to take home Player of the Year honors since Chloe Smith accomplished the feat three straight times from 2008-10.
Collins led the SLC and is ranked fourth nationally with 12.06 assists per set, helping lead the Sugar Bears to a perfect 18-0 record in league play and claim the regular-season conference title. It’s the fourth straight season that Collins as earned All-SLC honors.
Sophomore Heather Schnars and senior Jessica Nagy join Collins on the first team of the All Southland Conference team, marking the fourth time in the past five years that Central Arkansas has placed three players on the first team.
Schnars, from Downey, California, was a three-time SLC Offensive Player of the Week. She led the league in service aces per set (0.47), ranked fourth in kills per set (3.50), and sixth in hitting percentage (.273). Schnars tallied double-digit kills in all but seven matches this season, collecting a season-high 16 against Northwestern State.
Nagy, from Carleton, Michigan, finished 11th in the league with a hitting percentage of .266 and 12th in kills per set with 3.04. She helped the Sugar Bears lead the SLC with a collective hitting percentage of .275. Nagy collected double-digit kills in 11 matches this season, picking up a season-high 18 against Northwestern State.
Head coach David McFatrich, in his third season at the helm for the Sugar Bears, was named the SLC’s Coach of the Year. The team opened the season with a 3-1 win over no. 20 Kansas, marking the program’s first victory over a ranked opponent. The Sugar Bears finished the regular season with a 26-3 mark, winning Southland Conference regular-season title for the third time in four years.
Under McFatrich’s guidance, Central Arkansas led the SLC in hitting percentage (.275), assists per set (13.89), and kills per set (14.66), while ranking second in service aces per set (1.46) and opponent hitting percentage (.127). The Sugar Bears placed a league-high three players on the All-SLC first team this season and added two honorable mentions.
Central Arkansas also had two players, junior Shelby Berringer and freshman Fulani Petties, receive honorable mention honors.
The Sugar Bears, who are currently riding a 19-game winning streak, earned the top seed in the Southland Conference Tournament, which takes place this weekend in Corpus Christi, Texas. Central Arkansas will face Stephen F. Austin in the first round in a match scheduled to begin Friday at 4 p.m.