NewsMVNU to Honor Four Volleyball Seniors on Thursday
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio - The Mount Vernon Nazarene University women’s volleyball team will honor its four senior players prior to the team’s final regular-season match against Urbana University at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday.
Chelsea Knight, Jeni Vanderhoof, Jessica Harding, and Carrie Mason have helped the Lady Cougars compile an overall record of 144-41 (.778 winning percentage) over the past four years. MVNU has won two American Mideast Conference titles, participated in four National Christian College Athletic Association National Tournaments with one second-place finish, and finished as the NAIA Region IX Tournament runner-up two times during that span. The Lady Cougars are currently 31-8 overall with an 11-4 AMC South Division mark.
Knight, a middle hitter from West Salem, Ohio, has played in 425 games during her career. The former Northwestern High School star has compiled 740 kills, 211 digs, and 73 aces. Knight also ranks eighth in school history with 449 total blocks. This season, she has recorded 187 kills, 127 blocks, 63 digs, and 35 aces in 106 games. An NCCAA East Region Honorable Mention pick last year, Knight was recently selected to the NCCAA All-America Scholar-Athlete Team.
"Chelsea is our quiet leader and a high quality person, student, teammate, and player,” said MVNU head coach Paul Swanson. "Her outstanding front row play has helped us succeed many times. Our team is blessed because of the committed and caring person that she is.”
Vanderhoof, a libero from Waldo, Ohio, has played in 510 career games. The former All-Ohioan at River Valley High School has recorded 240 kills, 126 aces, and 60 assists during her career. Vanderhoof also ranks tenth in school history with 1,298 digs and sixth with 2,357 serve reception attempts. This season, she leads the team with 434 digs to go with 51 kills and 15 aces in 119 games. She has already been an NCCAA East Region Honorable Mention selection this season.
"Jeni is an energetic and enthusiastic player, teammate, and competitor,” said Swanson. "Her intelligence and hunger to compete have helped our team more than we realize. MVNU has been a life-changing experience for Jeni, and we are thankful the Lord brought her our way.”
Harding, an outside hitter from New Philadelphia, Ohio, has played in 435 games during her career. The former All-Ohioan at Garaway High School has compiled 302 total blocks, 97 assists, and 226 digs. Harding has also moved into twelfth place in school history with 1,068 kills. This season, she has tallied 341 kills, 70 blocks, and 73 digs in 112 games. She was an NCCAA East Region Honorable Mention pick last year as well as being an NAIA and NCCAA All-America Scholar-Athlete as both a junior and a senior.
"Jessica has a great personality, is a great student, has a great voice, and has become an outstanding volleyball player,” said Swanson. "She gives the team leadership, fun, spiritual support, and great play. We are lucky to have her.”
Mason, a middle hitter from Fredericktown, Ohio, has played in 587 career games. The former All-Ohioan at Fredericktown High School has posted 126 assists, 120 aces, and 682 digs. She is one of only two players in school history with over 1,500 kills and 600 total blocks, and she ranks fifth in kills (1,645) and third in blocks (629). This season, Mason has contributed 40 aces, 54 assists, 93 blocks, 202 digs, and 380 kills in 117 games. Among her many honors, she has been named to the NCCAA East Region Team and the NCCAA All-American Second Team this season.
"Carrie has always been a natural leader for us and we have gladly followed her,” said Swanson. "She has really developed into a complete volleyball player. Her excellent all-around play has made a big impact on our team. MVNU has been a life-changing experience for Carrie. We are thankful for how the Lord has blessed her, and in turn, how she has blessed us.”
After Thursday’s match, the Lady Cougars will take part in the 12-team AMC Tournament, which will be held at either Walsh University or Cedarville University next Friday and Saturday.