VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) announced its All-American award winners for volleyball division 1 and 2. The University of Dallas landed a trio of players, headlined by Elizabeth Smith (Broken Arrow, Okla.) on the First Team. Dayjah Whyte (Round Rock, Texas) and Abigail Porras (El Paso, Texas) were tabbed Second Team.
Three players earning an All-American Honor ties the most in a season for the Crusaders, with the other coming in 2005. The last season multiple players were given the distinction was 2006. All three nominations by Dallas were selected this season.
Smith became the first player to be named First Team All-American since Theresa Wohldmann in 2010. The senior setter was among the top leaders in the USCAA for assists-per-set with well above 8.00. She finished the campaign second in the category with an 8.49-clip, and was announced Setter-of-the-Week on a couple of occasions this fall. Smith finished the season with 891 assists to lead the Crusaders in 34 matches (105 sets). She also added 62 kills, 32 service aces, 249 digs, and 16 blocks. To cap her career, Smith managed 2,829 career assists to move up to third all-time in the program's record books.
Whyte was the top offensive threat for Dallas this season, as the SCAC Newcomer of the Year racked up a team-leading 318 kills (2.92 k/s) over 32 matches (109 sets). Whyte's average for kills in a set ranks third in the USCAA. She won USCAA Player of the Week twice. The freshman middle blocker hit .297 while adding: 25 service aces, 76 digs, and 47 blocks. Whyte continues to build on her postseason accolades, as she was also All-SCAC First Team.
Porras was another freshman for this young UD squad that garnered several high numbers in the attack. She managed 275 kills and averaged a 2.46 mark, which was 11th in the USCAA. Porras won USCAA Player of the Week once. Porras recorded double-digits in kills 12 times. Her service aces were a high number on the team with 46, and she added 133 digs and 25 blocks.
Dallas finished 20-13 overall, which marked the program's first winning season and 20-win season since 2014. Second-year head coach Kelli Trautmann improved her team by doubling with winning output, and also increased the SCAC wins from 2 to 7. UD's strong play netted it a fourth-seed at its hosted conference tournament. The Crusaders edged Centenary College in five sets to advance from the Quarterfinals.
Please click here to view all award winners.