Passa, Gruber win Coach, Player of the Year

Ally Gruber (pictured) wins the NJCAA Region XIII Player of the Year for the 2020-21 NJCAA volleyball season. 

North Dakota State College of Science had Head Coach Jane Passa and Ally Gruber represent the NJCAA Region XIII by winning Coach of the Year and Player of the Year. Gruber led the Wildcats with 207 kills on the season. She averaged 2.69 kills per set and 1.14 blocks per set.

Gruber was the most talented two-way player in the conference as she was the only player who was top-five in kills (207), hit percentage (.280) and blocks per set. Gruber deservedly earned Player of the Year. 

"I'm very excited for her," Passa said. "She could have very easily left at Christmas time because she had graduated, but with the COVID rules, she was able to stay because it didn't count against her eligibility. I'm glad she stayed. She was a difference maker for us for sure and I'm really proud of her."

Passa shrugged off being Coach of the Year. It meant a lot to her, but she said, "It's not because of me, that's for sure. It's because of the players and the effort that they put in that made them outstanding this year."

Kaitlyn Emmil and Kortney Carney were also named to the All-Region XIII team. Katie Krieger had a great year despite missing the cut. Krieger had 5.17 digs per set, which was second in the conference. Carney's 0.54 serving aces per set were third in the conference and Kreiger had 10.5 assists per set, which was more then three assists better then the next best player. 

The Wildcats had enough talent to steamroll through the competition this season. They were 21-3 overall on the season, earning the Region XIII Tournament Championship.

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