November 26, 2018 - by
Caffrey Named ACC Player of the Year

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State volleyball’s Payton Caffrey earned the league’s highest individual honor in her first year in the conference, as she was named the ACC Player of the Year on Monday (11/26). Sophomore middle blocker Taryn Knuth joins her on the All-ACC First Team, while senior libero Kelsey Wicinski was named to the All-ACC Second Team in her first season at FSU.

Caffrey becomes the third player in program history to earn the award, joining Brianna Barry (2009) and Ashley Neff (2012). The year those two players won the award, they went on to be named Second Team and Third Team All-Americans, respectively.

The Chuluota, Fla. native finished the regular season leading the ACC 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.

Caffrey and Pitt’s Kayla Lund led the conference this year with three ACC Player of the Week honors each, making Caffrey one of only three players in FSU’s history to accomplish that feat. This is her third All-Conference award after she was a two-time All-Big 12 First Team honoree at WVU.

Knuth topped her outstanding debut as a freshman with an even more dominant sophomore season. The former ACC Freshman of the Year finished the 2018 regular season leading the ACC in all blocking categories (solo, assisted, total, and blocks per set). Her 185 total blocks ranks second in the nation, and her 1.75 blocks per set ranks third nationally.

The Johnston, Iowa native’s 30 total solo blocks this season is tied for the second-most ever seen in FSU’s rally scoring era, and it is the most any player has seen at FSU since 2004 (Amanda Santos, 30). Heading into the postseason with 1.75 blocks per set, she is on track to have the best blocks-per-set statistic since 1986 (Julie Todd, 1.76).

Knuth is no stranger to postseason awards, as this is her sixth in only two years (11th total).

Wicinski held down the back row this season as the Seminoles’ primary passer, tallying 467 total digs by the conclusion of the regular season – good for the fourth-most digs in the ACC. Her 4.83 digs per set in conference matches ranked second in the ACC this season. At 4.41 digs per set in all matches, she is on track to see the most digs per set a player at FSU has seen since 2012 (Katie Mosher, 4.68).

This marks Wicinski’s first career postseason accolade, and first honor from the ACC.

The Seminoles now focus on the NCAA Tournament, as the team will face in-state rival in the first round this Thursday, Nov. 29 at 4:30 pm. Tickets and the full bracket can be found on the volleyball schedule page on




Payton Caffrey, Jr., OH, Florida State


Ryann DeJarld, Sr., L, Notre Dame


Wilma Rivera, Sr., S, Louisville


Polina Shemanova, OH, Syracuse


Dan Fisher, Pitt



Leah Meyer***, Jr., MB, Duke
Andie Shelton, Gr., S, Duke
Payton Caffrey, Jr., OH, Florida State
Taryn Knuth**, So., MB, Florida State
Wilma Rivera**, Sr., S, Louisville
Melanie McHenry**, Jr., OH, Louisville
Molly Sauer****, Sr., L, Louisville
Haley Templeton****, Sr., S, Miami
Layne Van Buskirk^**, Jr., MH, Pitt
Nika Markovic***, Jr., RS, Pitt
Kayla Lund**, So., OH, Pitt
Stephanie Williams***, Jr., OH, Pitt
Santita Ebangwese^***, Sr., MB, Syracuse
Polina Shemanova, Fr., OH, Syracuse



Brooke Bailey, So., OH, Clemson
Kelsey Wicinski, Sr., L, Florida State
Mikaila Dowd, Fr., OH, Georgia Tech
Elizaveta Lukianova, So., OH, Miami
Kylie Pickrell**, Sr., S, NC State
Teni Sopitan, Sr., OH, NC State
Melissa Evans**, So., RS, NC State
Ryann DeJarld***, Sr., L, Notre Dame
Charley Niego, Fr., OH, Notre Dame
Sydney Bent, Fr., OH, Notre Dame
Zoe Nunez, Fr., S, Notre Dame
Jemma Yeadon***, Jr., OH, Notre Dame
Amber Witherspoon, Sr., MB, Syracuse
Jaila Tolbert***, Sr., RS, Virginia Tech



Gabby Easton, S, Clemson
Solei Thomas, RS, Clemson
Ade Owokoniran, OH, Duke
Mikaila Dowd, OH, Georgia Tech
Mariana Brambilla, OH, Georgia Tech
Zoe Nunez, S, Notre Dame
Charley Niego, OH, Notre Dame
Sydney Bent, OH, Notre Dame
Polina Shemanova, OH, Syracuse

^denotes unanimous selection
*denotes number of All-ACC honors


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