Divine Savior Academy’s Volleyball Coach Matt Willems and junior Alejandra Rodriguez, were honored as Florida’s Region Four Coach and Player of the Year in the Florida High School All-Region Awards for Division 2A by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Nov. 3.
Among 74 recipients of the region, only four coaches and players received similar recognitions with Divine Savior the only 2A school to win both Coach and Player of the Year honors.
A high school volleyball coach for 10 years, Willems’ passion for the sport began as a college freshman, and he hopes his love for the game has been evident throughout his coaching career.
“I love sports, and I love coaching. I’m excited every day to go to practice, help our players grow, and watch them develop their skills,” he said.
“It’s my goal to share my love of sports with my players. It’s an honor to receive this award, but the best part has been watching our DSA players work hard and succeed this year.”
Led by Co-Capt. Rodriguez, the Divine Savior Sharks finished their regular season 16-3, with a perfect record of 10-0 in district play. Rodriguez displayed her talent throughout the season, accumulating 366 kills, 232 digs, and 160 aces.
With her strong commitment and dedication, the DSA outside hitter surely had the opportunity for recognition on more than one occasion, but noted the AVCA award was special.
“I have literally played nonstop volleyball this year,” said Rodriguez, “This award is a really big honor for me.
“ Divine Savior Academy captured the District 2A Volleyball Championship by defending its 2013 title with back-to-back District Championships, as well as a trip to the Regional Finals to conclude a successful 2014 season.
The Lady Sharks are already excited for the 2015 season which will be played under the lights of a brand new on-campus gymnasium, part of DSA’s new high school construction, an expansion that also includes a new soccer field, tennis courts, a three-story academic building and expanded parking.
The new high school will open for the 2015-2016 school year, in time for the 2015 volleyball season.
For information about Divine Savior Academy, visit DivineSaviorAcademy.com or tel. 305-597-4545