DETROIT, Mich. -- The Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) announced its volleyball postseason honors Wednesday (Nov. 13) and four Marygrove student-athletes were recognized as recipients of various awards. Kara Kempinski (Livonia, Mich./Schoolcraft College), a junior transfer this season for the Mustangs, received the nod as the WHAC's Libero of the Year after a recent vote from the conference's volleyball coaches. The honor is the highest postseason WHAC award the volleyball program has received in their short time in the conference.
Kempinski earned the award in a season where she helped lead the Mustangs to numerous program records. The junior tallied the most digs during conference play of any conference counterpart en route to helping the Mustangs win their first WHAC matches in program history. In her first regular season as a Mustang, Kempinski amassed 711 digs, 120 assists, 51 kills, and 33 service aces. The junior averaged a steady 5.47 digs per set throughout her first campaign in the WHAC.
ALL-CONFERENCE HONORABLE MENTION
For her efforts, Kara Kempinski was named to the WHAC Honorable Mention All-Conference team. Kempinski was joined by senior Amelia Velez (Imlay City, Mich./Prairie View A&M) as Marygrove student-athletes on the WHAC's Honorable Mention team. A senior transfer from NCAA Division I Prairie View A&M, Velez stormed through the competition early and often in her lone season as a Marygrove College Mustang. In conference play, Velez was 13th overall in kills with 117 over the 11-match WHAC slate for a 2.66 kills per set average. The senior middle was efficient during conference play as she ranked 11th in hitting percentage by boasting a .247 clip.
In her 34 matches a Mustang, Velez housed a team-leading 339 kills. Sarah Suppelsa (Livonia, Mich./Concordia-Ann Arbor) and Katharina Hall (Livonia, Mich./Henry Ford CC) followed closely with 294 and 251 kills respectively.
WHAC ALL-ACADEMIC TEAM
Senior leader Katharina Hall (Livonia, Mich./Henry Ford CC) was named as Marygrove's lone representative on the WHAC's All-Academic Team. Hall earned a spot on the WHAC's All-Academic team by posting a cumulative GPA well above the minimum 3.25 requirement. The senior worked hard in the classroom to join 37 others on the All-Academic squad.
On the court, Hall was a centerpiece for the Mustangs success over the past two seasons. The senior captain played all the way around to rank second on the team in digs (398) and third in kills (251). Hall lifted the Mustangs to new heights in 2013 as the senior helped the team break numerous records over the course of their 19-15 regular season that brought the program a Florida Northwood Invitational Championship, a Rochester College Invite Championship, a USCAA Third Place national finish, and the program's first WHAC wins.
CHAMPION OF CHARACTER
Sarah Suppelsa, one of three to be awarded in their first season as a Mustang, was named to the 2013 WHAC Champions of Character Team. The senior was honored as the Mustangs' best representative of the NAIA's Five Core Values of Integrity, Respect, Responsibility, Servant Leadership, and Sportsmanship.
Follow women's volleyall on twitter: @MGroveVBALL