Piper becomes third Otterbein volleyball All-American selection
Otterbein University volleyball standout Tabatha Piper (Sunbury/Big Walnut) earned a spot on the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-American team, the organization announced Tuesday afternoon.
Piper, a 5-foot, 11-inch setter, was voted to the Third Team.
For Piper, the honor gives the former Golden Eagle another prestigious award after earning First Team All-Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) and All-Great Lakes Region this season while becoming just the third All-American in Otterbein volleyball history.
Piper handed out over 1,000 assists for a second-straight season, amassing 30-plus assists in 22 different matches and surpassing 40 in eight outings. She now has 2,205 for her two-year stint as a Cardinal, putting her 1,024 helpers shy of the school’s all-time record with two years of eligibility remaining.
Her final numbers equaled 9.3 assists per set, including an impressive eight per frame against regionally-ranked opponents. Piper’s .341 hitting percentage led the team, but did not meet the requirement of four attacks per set for OAC or NCAA minimum standards. She also tallied 169 digs, 32 blocks, and 28 service aces this fall.
“Tab was a critical leader for us this season, and it wasn’t just because she plays the position she does,” Otterbein head coach Monica McDonald explained. “She’s always very calm and composed, and that keeps our team focused. We were able to give her a lot of control, letting her feel out the defense and then run the offense as she saw fit. She does an amazing job adjusting within the match.”
Otterbein played to a history-making season as a team, winning the program’s first-ever OAC championship and cracking the Top-25 national poll for a first time. The group, ranked No. 10 in the country at season’s end, fell to sixth-ranked Hope College (Mich.) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to finish 26–8 overall.