Carnae Dillard Named Swedish Player of the Year
North Texas’ All-Time Kills Leader Flourishing In Pro League
ÄNGELHOLM, Sweden – Former North Texas volleyball great Carnae Dillard was voted Sweden’s Player of the Year, the highest award in the Elitserien League.
Dillard, who played for North Texas from 2012-15, is her first year with Sweden’s Engelholms Volleybollsällskap (EVS) and made an immediate impact for her team.
She was the leader of the Elite Series with 317 points and carried that over to Elitserien league play, pacing EVS with 461 points while averaging 17.1 points per match.
“Winning Swedish player of the year is a huge accomplishment,” Dillard said. “I never thought that I would come to another country and play good enough for all the coaches of the entire league to vote me the best out of everyone. It's a surreal feeling.”
After learning she was voted Player of the Year, the first person she notified was 5,000 miles away.
“The first person I told was my mom,” Dillard said. “She has been one of my biggest support systems over here since I've been gone. I've had some good and bad days here in Sweden and she's been here for all of them, so I had to tell her first because she helped me get to this point.”
Dillard is no stranger to awards or the spotlight, having twice been named Conference USA’s Player of the Year and All-America as a senior. She tallied 2,327 kills over her four-year career at North Texas, finishing as the program’s leader in kills, attacks (6,063) and kills in a season (687).
Her prestigious career featured 53 matches of 20 or more kills, including 18 in her senior campaign, and a career-best 31 kills on four occasions. She finished third in digs with 1,426 while becoming only the second Mean Green player to be recognized as an All-American selection by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
Dillard and EVS start the playoff finals on Monday in a best of five series against Hylte/Halmstad.