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LEXINGTON, Ky., — The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced its fifth annual AVCA Top Flight award winners today and four Bruins made the list. UCLA’s pair on court two, Abby Van Winkle and Peri Brennan, and the pair currently on three, but qualifying on court four, Haley Hallgren and Rileigh Powers, all garnered AVCA Top Flight awards. Both of the Bruin duos to earn Top Flight honors were the only undefeated pairs on their respective courts in the country to earn the award.
Van Winkle and Brennan, 28-3 overall, are a perfect 22-0 at the second spot in 2023. Their only losses on the year came when they were at the No. 1 position. The duo was also named Second Team All-America by the AVCA yesterday.
Hallgren and Powers have the best record on the UCLA team, 30-2 overall, and were a perfect 18-0 on court four. Now on court three, they have also gone 5-0 on court five, 6-2 on court three and 1-0 on court two.
The Top Flight awards program is designed to recognize excellence in collegiate beach volleyball from all over the country and across all flights. The nature of beach volleyball dictates that each player fills an important role on the team. Each pair must give their greatest effort to help the squad clinch the three wins necessary to defeat an opponent. It takes all 10 athletes performing at a high level to achieve greatness. With this in mind, the AVCA created this award to reward the hard work and consistent play of pairs at each flight. In order for a pair to be eligible for the award, two athletes must compete in at least 15 matches together and at a specific flight number. Should that pair win at least 75% of its matches—regardless of the overall result of the dual—those athletes achieve Top Flight status.
NOTE: Pair records are before the NCAA Championship, so they only include matches before May 1.
|Katie Grose and Reina Thomas||Ave Maria||NAIA||12-3|
|Abbey Hildenbrand and Ava Fountain||Carson-Newman||DII||23-4|
|Samaya Morin and Allanis Navas||Grand Canyon||DI||18-1|
|Veronica Tikhomirova and Isabelle Valldeperas||Huntingdon||DIII|
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