VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Illinois Tech women's volleyball team received some great news at Thursday night's United States Collegiate Athletic Association championship banquet. A total of three student-athletes earned USCAA All-American honors: Sara Hassell (First Team), Taylor Burton (Second Team), and Courtney Curcio (Honorable Mention).
Hassell has put together one of the best freshman seasons in the country, as the outside hitter is currently leading the entire USCAA with 392 kills while also tallying 40 aces, 287 digs, and 61 blocks. She's tallied nine double-doubles, 12 matches with double-digit digs, and 20 matches with double-digit kills. The season has included a 15-kill, 28-dig match against Oglethorpe on September 2 (her first collegiate match) and a 23-kill, 20-dig match against Maranatha on September 23.
Burton has emerged as one of the top middles in the USCAA in her sophomore season. The Georgia native has tallied 310 kills, 88 blocks, and a .267 hitting percentage this season. Her kills and block numbers rank in the Top 10 in the USCAA, while her hit percentage ranks 11th. She's stepped up against USCAA competition, as of her 11 matches with a hitting percentage over .400, nine of them have some against USCAA schools.
Curcio emerged as the team's libero this season and one of the top USCA back row defenders, collecting 560 digs to rank fourth in the USCAA. Thirty of her 34 matches have featured double-digit dig totals, with nine of those 30 matches featuring over 20. She also showed a knack for making a pass leading to a kill, tallying a high number of assists for a back row player (96). She's also contributed 32 aces.
After splitting Thursday's action, Tech resumes pool play at 11:00 a.m. eastern time tomorrow with a matchup against #5 Carlow before taking on #1 Florida National at 3:30 p.m. eastern time. If Tech places as one of the top four out of five teams in Pool A, the Scarlet Hawks will then open single-elimination bracket play at either 5:00 p.m. eastern time or 7:00 p.m. eastern time. Bracket play is a best-of-five format for each match.