Region covers 35 schools and seven conferences
DAYTON – Wright State volleyball coach Allie Matters has been named the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Midwest Region Coach of the Year, the AVCA announced on Tuesday morning. Matters becomes the second Raider head coach to earn the honor and just the sixth Horizon League coach to earn a regional coach of the year award since 1986.
Additionally, Jenna Story was named an AVCA Northeast Region honorable mention performer for the second straight season.
In her third season this spring, Matters was named the Horizon League’s Coach of the Year for the second straight season and has guided the Raiders to their second straight NCAA appearance. Wright State has won the last two League regular season championships and is coming off of its first Horizon League tournament title in program history last weekend.
The AVCA Northeast region includes 35 schools from the following conferences: Big 10, Horizon, Ivy, MAC, Metro-Atlantic, Northeast and Patriot.
Matters joins current Wright State Senior Associate Athletics Director/Senior Woman Administrator and former head coach Joylynn Brown as the only two Raider head coaches to earn AVCA Region Coach of the Year honors. Matters is the first HL coach to earn an AVCA regional coaching honor since Cleveland State’s Chuck Voss was the Northeast Region Coach of the Year in 2015.
Story has earned back-to-back Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year honors and is one of the top defensive players in the country, sitting third in the nation with her 6.10 digs/set average, while her 366 total digs are inside the top 30 nationally. Her 1,614 career digs to date are already inside the Top 3 for the Wright State career digs leaders. Story has tallied 15 or more digs in 15 of the Raiders’ 17 matches despite Wright State playing 11 three-set matches and has recorded 30-plus digs 13 times over her career.
Matters has led Wright State to 16 victories in the shortened spring season entering the NCAA Championship, while guiding the Raiders to a perfect 14-0 Horizon League regular season record before two more HL wins in the tournament.
In January 2020, Matters was named to VolleyballMag.com’s Under 40 Coaching Hotshots list, which recognizes the top up-and-coming coaches across NCAA Division I women’s volleyball, after leading the Raiders to their first Horizon League regular season championship in program history and earning an at-large berth into the 2019 NCAA Volleyball Championship, the first at-large NCAA bid in any sport in Wright State athletic department history.
The 2019 Raiders finished the season with a 24-5 record, winning 20 or more matches for just the seventh time in the program’s Division I era. In her first campaign in 2018, Matters led Wright State to a 15-14 overall record, its first .500 or better season since 2003, while finishing with seven Horizon League wins, the most for the program since 2008, as the Raiders qualified for the Horizon League Tournament for the first time in 10 years.
Wright State begins NCAA Championship play on Wednesday night, taking on Samford at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN3. The entire NCAA Volleyball Championship will be played in a neutral-site format in Omaha, Nebraska. The Wright State-Samford winner advances to take on the No. 4 overall seed Texas in the second round on Thursday night.
COURTESY WRIGHT STATE ATHLETICS