TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Following a stellar breakout performance in her first year at Florida State, junior outside hitter Payton Caffrey was named the East Region Player of the Year by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) on Tuesday. She was joined by sophomore middle blocker Taryn Knuth on the AVCA East Region Team.
Caffrey becomes the first Seminole to win the award, after Knuth became only the second in program history to win the East Region Freshman of the Year award last season. Under head coach Chris Poole, Florida State has seen 28 All-Region awards among 20 different players.
The Chuluota, Fla. native was named the ACC Player of the Year earlier this season, after finishing the regular season leading the conference in kills (462), kills per set (4.36), points (521.5) and points per set (4.92), all of which are ranked in the top 30 nationally. She was the only player in the conference with 300 or more kills in ACC play this season, and the only player with an average of more than five points per set. Her 346.5 total points in ACC play is more than 30 points higher than the next player below her.
This marks Caffrey’s second All-Region honor after she was named to the All-Midwest Region team at West Virginia in 2016.
Knuth built on her already impressive freshman season in her second year at Florida State. Following the first weekend of the postseason, Knuth’s 188 total blocks and 1.72 blocks per set both lead the conference, and rank second and third in the nation, respectively. Her 1.72 blocks per set ranks second in program history, while her 188 total blocks ranks ninth all-time (behind Gabrielle Reece’s 189 blocks earned her senior year).
The ACC saw 17 players named to their respective regional teams, eight of which were represented in the East Region. Alongside Caffrey’s Player of the Year honor, Syracuse’s Polina Shemanova was named the East Region Freshman of the Year, and Pitt’s Dan Fisher was named the East Coast Region Coach of the Year.
Name / School / Position / Year
Frances Arnautou / Yale / S / Jr.
Payton Caffrey** / Florida State / OH / Jr.
Madelyn Cole / Creighton / S / Jr.
Santita Ebangwese** / Syracuse / MB / Sr.
Aleksandra Kazala*** / American / OH / Sr.
Taryn Kloth** / Creighton / OH / Sr.
Taryn Knuth / Florida State / MB / So.
Laura Masciullo / Hofstra / OH / Jr.
Wilma Rivera** / Louisville / S / Sr.
Molly Sauer** / Louisville / L / Sr.
Polina Shemanova / Syracuse / OH / Fr.
Jasmin Sneed / VCU / MB / Jr.
Kate Swanson / Yale / L / Sr.
Jaali Winters**** / Creighton / OH / Sr.
Name / School / Pos. / Year
Jenna Bridges / Hartford / MB / Jr.
Tamia Dockery / Howard / S / Sr.
Gabrielle Eyl / Northeastern / L / Sr.
Bri Lilly / Butler / MB / Sr.
Melanie McHenry / Louisville / OH / Jr.
Kylie Pickrell / NC State / S / Sr.
Player of the Year: Payton Caffrey, Florida State, OH
Freshman of the Year: Polina Shemanova, Syracuse, OH
Coach of the Year: Kirsten Bernthal Booth, Creighton
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