Dillard Named AVCA Honorable Mention All-American
Outside Hitter Is Second Player In Program History To Earn Top Honor
Senior Carnae Dillard was named as an All-American Honorable Mention selection on Wednesday. (Photo by Michael Clements)
DENTON — The record-breaking career of volleyball senior Carnae Dillard may have come to a close, but not before the outside hitter took one of the country’s top individual honors. On Wednesday, Dillard was named to the Honorable Mention All-America squad by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
Dillard’s selection to the exclusive club makes her just the second volleyball player in North Texas history to take All-American honors. Corina Marginas, an outside hitter from 2000-03, was the only other Mean Green player to accomplish such a feat.
“I feel like I’ve worked hard for four years to be the best and it finally is being recognized,” Dillard said upon earning her latest accolade. “I couldn’t have done it without God first, but I think I also just stayed focused to achieve everything I wanted and more. I never wanted to settle for just being good because I wanted to be the best. My coaches and teammates helped me every step of the way and helped me to be the best I could be.”
After a breakout season that saw Dillard earn Conference USA Player of the Year in 2014, the San Antonio native was again among the most dominant players in the country this season. Five times she was named as C-USA’s offensive player of the week before repeating as the league’s top player. Last week, she was named to the AVCA All-Southwest Region team - her first career all-region honor - after leading the NCAA in kills per set (5.40).
Dillard’s most recent campaign simply added to what was already one of the greatest careers in North Texas volleyball history. In 2015, the senior moved into first place on the program’s all-time kills and attacks lists; her 2,327 career kills led all active NCAA competitors this season, and she became the first person in team history to register more than six thousand attacks before finishing with 6,063. Furthermore, Dillard wraps up her time in a Mean Green jersey with 53 matches of 20 or more kills, 74 double-doubles and four first team all-conference selections.
“This is a special way to cap off a great career at North Texas,” head coach Andrew Palileo said. “She deserves this All-American recognition, not only for this year but for a career that has been about character, humility and hard work. It’s a special honor to be associated with the top athletes in your sport that go on to play professionally and in the Olympics. Anytime you receive this kind of recognition it speaks to the quality of the university, the support of your administration and the success of your team.”
The All-American honor makes 2015-16 the fourth consecutive year that a North Texas athlete has earned all-america honors in one of the the school’s 16 intercollegiate sports.
To view a full list of this year’s AVCA All-Americans, click here.