NCCU's Matthews named National Volleyball Player of the Year

NCCU's Matthews named National Player of the Year  

November 16, 2006

     MIAMI SHORES, FLA. ­ North Carolina Central University junior Shari Matthews was selected as the 2006 NCAA Division II Daktronics Women's Volleyball Player of the Year, as chosen by a vote from the division's sports information directors.

        Matthews, an outside hitter from Bridgetown, Barbados, led the nation with an average of 6.37 kills and 0.92 service aces per game, and broke the NCAA Division II record for kills in a season with 974.

        Along with her record-breaking 974 kills and nation-high 140 service aces, Matthews finished her junior campaign at NCCU with 513 digs (3.35 per game) and 95 blocks (0.62 per game). Her .396 hitting percentage is tied for the third-best in the NCAA Division II.

        Matthews, who is the school's first-ever volleyball All-American, also earned honors as the 2006 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association and NCAA Division II Atlantic Region Player of the Year, and was named to the NCAA Division II Atlantic Region All-Tournament Team after recording a match-high 33 kills, 12 digs and seven blocks in NCCU's 3-1 (30-16, 27-30, 30-28, 33-31) loss to eventual regional champion Lock Haven University on Nov. 9.

        A business administration major, Matthews has re-written many of NCCU's single-match and single-season records in her first year in Durham. Matthews owns NCCU records for kills in a match (42), service aces in a single-season (140), kills in a season (974) and kills per game (6.37). She also has the second most digs (513) in NCCU volleyball single-season history, while her 140 service aces are tied for fourth all-time in single season in the NCAA's Division II.

         Matthews guided the Eagles to their third straight CIAA Championship, their third consecutive trip to the NCAA regional playoffs and the most wins (32) in school history.

         "Shari is very deserving of this honor," said NCCU first-year head coach Georgette Crawford-Crooks. "She has worked very hard, has played through pain, and has been an excellent leader for this team.

        "This is a great honor for her and for our program," Crawford-Crooks added. "It is an indication of the positive direction NCCU volleyball is heading."