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Van Niel Earns Region Coach of the Year, Four on All-Region

Van Niel Earns Region Coach of the Year, Four on All-Region


TEMPE – The recognition keeps coming for Sun Devil Volleyball’s historic season as head coach JJ Van Niel was named AVCA Pacific South Region Coach of the Year, the first in program history, with Claire Jeter, Marta Levinska, Shannon Shields and Mary Shroll being named to the AVCA Pacific South All-Region. 

This is the first time in program history that an Arizona State head coach has won region coach of the year. Additionally, ASU has never had more than one player on the all-region team, with these honors being the first since Whitney Follette in 2015. These four being honored doubled the number of Sun Devil all-region awards prior to this season. There were only three all-region honorees in Sun Devil history. 

For the player awards, this is the first time that all four players have received an all-region nod. Levinska has accumulated a variety of different postseason awards, adding this one to her arsenal of accolades after being on the All-Pac-12 Team. Jeter, Shields and Shroll add the All-Region to their Pac-12 Honorable Mentions from last week.

For the complete list of AVCA region honorees, head to their website.

JJ Van Niel has made history in his first season as a head coach by leading Arizona State to an incredible turnaround to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015 and winning two matches for the first time in Sun Devil history. The Sun Devils have extended their record to 28-6, which is the best record this century at ASU and the second-highest win total in program history. This was the 11th season that the program has reached 20 wins. Additionally, Arizona State had a 14-6 Pac-12 record, which is the most conference wins in team history. The Sun Devils finished in a tie for third in the Pac-12, the best conference finish since tying for second in 1993.

The team started the season strong, finishing non-conference undefeated and going 14-0 to start the year, which is the best start by a new head coach in the NCAA era. In the rankings, the squad has been in the top 25 in the AVCA Coaches Poll every week since September 25. The Sun Devils had two-top five sweeps over Stanford (home) and Oregon (away). The win over the Cardinal was just the second time ever that the Sun Devils…

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