On April 1st, Louisiana Tech traveled to Fort Worth, Texas in preparation for their last conference tournamnet on the following Saturday and Sunday. This would conclude the conference season as this was the Championship Tournament. However, the coaches decided to switch things up a bit by surprising the team with the club's first ever season awards. These awards included Most Improved, Leadership, Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year, and two MVP trophies.
This year, the recipient of the Most Improved award was none other than Christian Cockrell. Cockrell played a vital role in the A-Team's season this year as a starting Outside Hitter. He began his volleyball career only in September and was the only player to advance from the B-Team to the A-Team. He showed a vast understanding and passion for the game and worked tirelessly the entire season to show his capabilities. Coaches took notice and left no hesitation when deciding this award's recipient. Head Coach Wug stated that Cockrell is a player that every coach strives to have on their team and makes their job easy.
The Leadership Award is an award that goes to a player that makes the team click. They are a voice to their teammates, they show passion and understanding to the game, they guide the team in the right direction at all times. This player represents the University and the team in the best way possible and is one of the biggest support systems on and off the court. This award this year was given to the team captain, Colin Clement.
The Offensive Player of the Year award is given to the player that provides consistency and reliablity on offense. He is dependable, makes few mistakes, and allows for an easy point when needed. This year, the Offensive POY was awarded to senior Outside Hitter, Christian Rabalias.
The Defensive Player of the Year award is given to the player that shows the highest defensive skill and knowledge. They are the most dependable on the back row and provide the most consistent and accurate passes throughout the season. This player also leads the defense, is the most aggresive during play, and does everything possible to never let the ball hit the ground. This year, the Defensive POY was awarded to senior Libero, Josh Holland.
The coaches had trouble with the MVP award. Typically, only one player is awarded this title; however, after much debate, it was agreed that there be two recipients this year. The MVP award is a title not taken lightly. It shows that the recipient was the most reliable on the court no matter the position. To earn the MVP title, a player needs to demonstrate that he is well rounded in game knowledge, is a dependable player at all times, provides a solid defense on front and back row, and overall shows an advance skill level in all areas. This year, the two recipients the coaches were proud to award MVP to were senior Setter, Sam Dominguez, and starting Middle Blocker, Logan Sanders.
This team has shown an incredible amount of improvement this year. They have shown grit, determination, pride, excitement, and just about any other positive word you can come up with. They are a true representation of what it means to be a Louisiana Tech Bulldog.