(Editor's note: University of Providence press release)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — University of Providence volleyball player Sadie Lott was named to the NAIA National Championship All-Tournament team, the NAIA announced.
The award is given to the top 14 performers at the NAIA National Championship. Lott, a freshman middle-blocker from Idaho Falls, Idaho, is the first player in program history to ever be named to the team.
"It's quite an honor for her," head coach Arunas Duda said. "You're playing against the best teams in the country and the best players in the country. For her to be recognized as one of those is such an honor. I couldn't be happier for her."
Lott came to play at the National Tournament. In the opening round game against Lindsey Wilson, Lott notched 14 kills on an astounding .481 hitting percentage and also led the team with four blocks. Against Life she led the team with 11 kills on a .270 hitting percentage, and was active defensively, recording 14 digs.
She really stood out against Park in the Great Eight game, where she suffered an early injury but refused to come out of the match. She was astounding that game, recording a team-high 17 kills. She was also active on the net defensively, recording a team-high seven blocks.
"Her mindset and her mentality when it comes to big games, she just goes and gets it," Duda said. "She's one of those kids that keeps grinding away. There was a point during the match against Park where I knew she had two blockers on her and I told her we're getting nine out of 10 balls to her. She toughed it out through an injury early on and still played phenomenally well. A lot of credit goes to her."
Lott had a solid season for the Argos. The returning Regional Freshman of the Year and Honorable Mention All-American finished the season with 345 kills (3.29 kills per set), 334 digs (3.14 digs per set) and 115 blocks. She was named 1st Team All-Conference and was recently named to the American Volleyball Coaches' Association All-Region team – both awards she has gotten for the second year in a row. She was also voted as the team's champion of character, an award given to the team that best represent the NAIA's five core values.
"Her court intelligence is so huge," Duda said. "She finds a different way to attack once you think you've figured her out. She transitions, she listens to her coaches really well. A lot of it is her ability to create situations for herself. She just finds a way to score. It is really impressive what she's done this year."
Of the 14 players that were named to the All-Tournament team, she was one of two freshman. Duda is ecstatic to be able to coach her for three more seasons as the team will try to return to the Great Eight and beyond moving forward.
"She's incredibly important to our program," Duda said. "We're returning a lot of players next year who played in the Elite Eight and that should set us up nicely for the future. We're pretty excited about the core group that we have remaining. There's certainly some areas that we need to address but when you have your main cornerstone pieces there with that experience, it will help us along the way."