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November 22, 2013

Peach Belt Announces Volleyball All-Conference Team

FLORENCE, S.C. – The Peach Belt Conference announced the 2013 volleyball All-Conference team at a banquet following the first day of play at the annual tournament championship in Florence.  Armstrong Atlantic State University’s Jessica Santaniello was named the PBC Player of the Year while teammate Megan Pando was honored as the Setter of the Year.  Georgia College’s Rachel Reynolds was named the PBC Freshman of the Year and Montevallo’s Kaleigh Harvey the Libero/Defensive Specialist of the Year.  Francis Marion’s Paul MacDonald was selected as the Coach of the Year.

Santaniello helped lift the Pirates to their third straight PBC regular-season championship and a #17 national ranking.  The senior from Boca Raton, Fla., is the only PBC player to be ranked in the PBC top 10 in kills, kills per set, hitting percentage and aces.  A PBC Player of the Week this season, she is  8th all-time in the PBC in kills with 1,459 in her career and 12th all-time in career digs with 1,570.  She is also the sixth player in PBC history to be named All-Conference for four years.  Santaniello is the third straight Pirate to earn the PBC Player of the Year award and seventh overall.

Megan Pando leads the Peach Belt and is ranked 23rd nationally in assists per set.  The senior from Oviedo, Fla., was a five-time PBC Specialist of the Week in 2013, averaging 10.84 assists per set.  She also added 2.36 digs per set and was seventh in the PBC in aces.  Pando had eight double-doubles on the year for the 17th-ranked Pirates and had 50 or more assists five times, including 57 in a win at Montevallo.  Pando is the second straight Pirate to be named the Setter of the Year and third overall in the five-year history of the award.

Kaleigh Harvey is on pace to make conference history this season.  The senior from Katy, Texas, is currently averaging 5.85 digs per set for the season which would be the highest single-season average in PBC history.  Her 632 total digs this year is the 11th-highest single-season total in league history and she is ranked 10th in the nation in digs per set.  Harvey had double-digit digs in 27 of the Falcons’ 29 games this season and had 30 or more five times.  She added 24 aces and 88 assists to her season totals and is the first Montevallo player to be named the Libero/Defensive Specialist of the Year.

Rachel Reynolds is one of 12 freshmen on the first-year Georgia College volleyball team.  A native of Marietta, Ga., she started in 28 of GC’s 29 matches this season and was ranked third in the PBC in kills per set, fourth in total kills and 13th in aces.  Reynolds had double-digit kills in all but nine matches for the Bobcats, setting a personal best with 26 in a 3-2 win over Montevallo.  She was third on the team in blocks and added 55 digs to her season total.  Reynolds is the first Bobcat to win one of the volleyball major awards.

Paul MacDonald engineered a dramatic resurgence at Francis Marion, returning the Patriots to title contention in the Peach Belt. The Patriots are the #3 seed for the PBC tournament, their highest seed since 2008.  FMU has had the biggest turnaround in the PBC this season, winning a league-best six games more than they did a year ago.  FMU is ranked in the top 10 in the region and won 20 or more games for the ninth time as a part of the Peach Belt.  MacDonald captures his first solo PBC Coach of the Year honor after being one of three co-Coaches of the Year in the 2008 season.

The 2013 volleyball All-Conference team is listed below, as selected by the leagues head coaches.  Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own players.

2013 Peach Belt Conference
Volleyball All-Conference Team

First Team
Manyi Ati, Montevallo
Kristen Holmes, Armstrong
Abby Meyers, Flagler
Megan Pando, Armstrong
Katie Poole, Columbus State
Jessica Santaniello, Armstrong
Emilee Taylor, Flagler

Second Team
Tarryn Angermeier, Lander
Kaleigh Harvey, Montevallo
Jessica Imbimbo, Francis Marion
Kristen Koch, GRU Augusta
Emily Sears, Francis Marion
Stephanie Sfara, Armstrong
Kailey Smith, Francis Marion

Freshman of the Year
Rachel Reynolds, Georgia College

Libero/Defensive Specialist of the Year
Kaleigh Harvey, Montevallo

Player of the Year
Jessica Santaniello, Armstrong

Setter of the Year
Megan Pando, Armstrong

Coach of the Year
Paul MacDonald, Francis Marion

2nd Team All-Conference
1st Team All-Conference
(L to R): Player of the Year Jessica Santaniello, Setter of the Year Megan Pando, Libero/Defensive Specialist of the Year Kaleigh Harvey, Coach of the Year Paul MacDonald