Katie Morris of Wayne State College was honored by the American Volleyball Coaches Association with the inaugural Thirty Under 30 Beach Award, presented to up-and-coming beach coaching talent at all levels of the sport.
The AVCA created the award to recognize coaches who are hard-working and passionate about teaching while demonstrating dedication to the fast-growing sport of beach volleyball.
Morris is in her second season as coaching assistant for beach volleyball and fourth season as indoor assistant for the Wildcats. WSC started beach volleyball in 2020 and went 3-4 before the rest of the season was canceled due to COVID-19. This season, she helped coach the Wildcats to a 5-5 mark and a second place finish in the Silver Division (eighth overall) at the 2021 AVCA Small College Beach Championship.
A former Wildcat volleyball standout, the former Katie Hughes is one of just seven players in school history to record 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs during her playing career from 2012-15. She currently ranks third in career digs (1,924) and is 15th in career kills with 1,177.
Morris was a first-team All-NSIC selection as a senior in 2015, recording 20 double-doubles while averaging 3.57 kills and 4.74 digs per set. She helped the Wildcats to a 28-8 record and the school’s first-ever NCAA Central Region title that ended in the NCAA Division II national semifinals. Morris was second-team All-NSIC during her junior season in 2014 and was a four-year starter for the Wildcats.
A graduate of Seward High School, Hughes Morris obtained a bachelor degree from Wayne State in 2017 with a double major in education and special education.