Wayne State College volleyball players Rachel Walker and Taya Beller were named to the 2022 Academic All-America Volleyball Team announced by College Sports Communicators in NCAA Div. II.
Both players received Third Team Academic All-America honors, recognizing their outstanding combination of academic and athletic achievement this season. Walker and Beller become just the third and fourth athletes in program history to be named Academic All-American. Setter Megan Gebhardt was a two-time Academic All-American in 2017 (First Team) and 2018 (Second Team) while Jennifer Hefner was a First Team Academic All-American in 2009 and 2010.
Walker, a 5-foot-9 junior setter, maintains a 3.94 grade-point average majoring in elementary education. On the court this season, she was named First Team All-NSIC, AVCA All-Central Region honorable mention and AVCA All-America honorable mention after averaging 10.64 assists per set. Walker ranked sixth in the NSIC in assists per set and also recorded 2.55 digs per set and had 30 service aces with 13 double-doubles. She was named NSIC Setter of the Week Oct. 17 and voted to the Colorado Premier Challenge All-Tournament Team.
Beller, a 6-foot-2 sophomore middle hitter, carries a 3.71 grade-point average majoring in business management and management. On the volleyball court this season, Beller’s post-season honors included AVCA and D2CCA All-America First Team, AVCA and D2CCA Central Region Player of the Year, NSIC Offensive Player of the Year and First Team All-NSIC. She led Wayne State this season in hitting with 3.88 kills per set (3rd NSIC) and was second in the league and eighth in NCAA Division II in hitting percentage (.398) while ranking fourth in the NSIC in points per set (4.46) and eighth in blocks per set (0.99).
Beller was a three-time NSIC Offensive Player of the Week selection this season and named AVCA/GameChanger Division II National Player of the Week Sept. 27 while also being voted to the Colorado Premier Challenge All-Tournament Team.
Wayne State College finished the 2022 season with a record of 30-3 and captured their first-ever NSIC regular season title with a 19-1 league mark. It was just the fourth 30-win season in school history. WSC ended the year ranked fourth in the final AVCA Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll and also hosted the Central Region tournament for the first time, losing in the semifinals to St. Cloud State.