“Oh, wow,” was the reply from Brian Scott when he was asked about the impact AveRee (pronounced Avery) Reynolds had this season for the University of Alaska Fairbanks volleyball team.
Reynolds, a 6-foot-1 junior outside hitter, received the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Newcomer of the Year honor Tuesday.
The secondary education major from Petersboro, Utah, also was among a quartet of Nanooks who were selected to the GNAC Volleyball All-Conference Team on Tuesday.
Junior setter Cate Whiting, from Rapid City, South Dakota, was chosen for the first team for the second straight year. Reynolds, senior middle blocker Kim Wong, from Spokane, Washington, and junior outside hitter Lahra Weber, from Berlin, were selected for the honorable mention team.
Reynolds transferred to UAF and its NCAA Division II program from Eastern Arizona College, where she was a junior college All-American.
Scott, who recently completed his fifth season as the Nanooks head coach, was familiar with Reynolds long before she finished in the top-20 of a statistical category in the GNAC.
Reynolds’ sister, Kristi, played for Weber State University when Scott was an assistant coach for the Division I program in Provo, Utah. Their mother, Malayna, has coached high school volleyball.
“She’s been a gym rat her whole life. She’s grown up around volleyball,” Scott said of AveRee Reynolds.
“She has a very good head for the game of volleyball. She knows what she’s supposed to be doing and when she’s supposed to be doing it on the court.”
During her first season with the Nanooks, Reynolds averaged 2.48 kills per set to rank 19th in the GNAC. She compiled 265 kills in 107 sets to also help the Nanooks place fifth among 11 GNAC teams in the regular season with a record of 15-13 overall and 12-8 conference.
Reynolds had 14 matches with 10-plus kills. She also averaged 0.77 blocks and 2.89 points per set.
Whiting finished sixth in the GNAC regular season with 9.43 assists per set from 1,028 assists in 109 sets.
She was among four top-10 GNAC assists leaders who had 1,000 or more assists in 2019.
Wong ended her Nanooks career by ranking eighth in the GNAC regular season with a .280 hitting percentage. The 6-foot senior generated 248 kills from 561 attempts with 91 errors in 105 sets.
The 5-10 Weber closed her junior season with a No. 15-ranking in the GNAC for kills. She produced 308 kills in 110 sets for an average of 2.80 per set.
Western Washington senior middle blocker Kayleigh Harper was selected as the GNAC Player of the Year and Vikings teammate and outside hitter Calley Heilborn collected the Freshman of the Year accolade.
Central Washington senior libero Kyla Morgan received the Defensive Player of the Year honor and Alaska Anchorage’s Chris Green gained his fifth Coach of the Year recognition.
The complete GNAC Volleyball All-Conference Team is available at gnacsports.com.
Contact News-Miner sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586. Follow him on Twitter:@newsminersports.