HAMMOND, Ind., & WESTVILLE, Ind. — Purdue University Northwest volleyball players Gabrielle Martin and Brooke Ahrens were both honored by the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference coaches with their selections to the all-league teams, as released by the CCAC Saturday.
Martin (DeMotte, Ind./Kankakee Valley), a junior outside hitter, was named to the CCAC First Team for the first time in her career after earning second-team honors in both 2014 and 2015 for then-Purdue Calumet.
Ahrens (Covington, Ind./Covington), a freshman setter, earned all-CCAC Second Team honors and was named the CCAC’s Freshman of the Year to round out PNW’s all-conference wards.
Martin finished the 2016 season as the league’s top hitter, leading the CCAC in kills per set at 4.03 in conference play. The junior finished the season with 458 kills on the year, and became a member of the 1,000-kill club back in October. Martin started 31 of 33 matches for PNW, hitting .224 in overall play to go along with 267 digs (2.19 per set), 39 service aces and 41 total blocks.
Ahrens finished third in the league in assists per set (9.38) and started 31 of 33 matches for PNW. The rookie totaled 1,010 assists on the year and added 41 service aces, 175 kills (at a .220 clip) and finished with 324 digs (2.66 per set) and 47 total blocks.
The CCAC All-Academic Team was also released, with PNW's Darya Maroz (Minsk, Belarus), Gabrielle Martin, and Kylie Tincher (Sellersburg, Ind./Rock Creek) all earning academic nods.
Trinity Christian senior setter Tori Mantel was named both the CCAC Player of the Year and Setter of the Year, St. Francis junior Leah Alles was tabbed the Libero of the Year and USF head coach Cara Currier was named the CCAC Coach of the Year to round out the specialty awards.
Purdue Northwest, a new program in 2016 after the merger of the Purdue Calumet and Purdue North Central programs, finished the year with 18 wins under head coach Julie Wiejak, the most by either team since the 2010 season when PNC finished with 22 victories.
PNW earned a berth in the CCAC Tournament, the first for either program since the 1990s, eventually falling to No. 2 seed and CCAC Tournament champion St. Francis (Ill.) in five sets Nov. 8.