Senior Cole, Freshman Welsh Garner AVCA All-America Honors

Dec. 14, 2016

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- University of Michigan senior outside hitter/middle blocker Abby Cole was named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-America Second Team, while freshman MacKenzi Welsh received an All-America Honorable Mention, it was announced Wednesday (Dec. 14). Last week, both student-athletes captured AVCA All-North Region honors.

A senior from Grand Haven, Michigan, Cole played in all 35 matches for the Maize and Blue during her senior campaign, averaging a team-high 3.14 kills per set on a .316 attack average. She also led the Wolverines to victories over numerous top-25 teams, including Penn State, Ohio State and Oregon. During the regular season, Cole recorded double-digit kills in 21 matches and registered a season-high .636 attack average in a 3-0 sweep of American in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Just a week prior, Cole was selected to the All-Big Ten Conference First Team and was the only player from Michigan to earn such an honor. Cole was also a unanimous 2016 All-Big Ten Preseason selection and was the MVP of three non-conference tournaments.The postseason All-America honor marks her third straight.

After leading her team in multiple statistical categories during the 2016 senior, Cole finishes her career second all-time in Michigan's record books with a .317 career attack percentage. In addition, her .316 hitting percentage throughout this past season ranks ninth all-time for U-M, while her .359 average in 2014 is still the best in Michigan history. She also finished fifth in program history in career kills with 1,452.

In her debut season with the Wolverines, Welsh stepped into a starting role as the team's setter, averaging 10.61 assists per set and guiding the Maize and Blue to a .258 team kill percentage, which ranked fifth in the prestigious Big Ten Conference. A native of Bolingbrook, Illinois, Welsh wrapped up her freshman year with 12 assist-dig double-doubles, averaging 2.24 digs per set while ranking second on the team with 293 digs. She is the only freshman to start every match for the Wolverines.

Despite being in her first year at Michigan, Welsh finished her freshman campaign with 1,390 total assists, which ranked sixth in the country. She also ranks 10th at Michigan for career assists after just one season donning the Maize and Blue. Additionally, Welsh's single-match career-high 73 assists against No. 2 Minnesota this season are tied for seventh all-time in the Michigan record books.

Led by Cole and Welsh, Michigan made its 16th trip to the NCAA Tournament this season, advancing to the Sweet 16 for the sixth time in program history. Michigan ended its season with a 24-11 overall record and the highest NCAA seed in program history.

Communications Contact: Katie Gwinn Hewitt


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