COLBERG NAMED PACIFIC REGION COACH OF THE YEAR; STIDHAM RECEIVES ALL-REGION HONORS
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento State head coach Debby Colberg was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s Pacific Region Coach of the Year, and senior outside hitter Missie Stidham was named honorable mention all-Pacific Region, it was announced by the AVCA today.
Colberg just completed a remarkable 32-year career at Sacramento State that includes an 828-292 record (.739 winning percentage) along with two national titles, 20 NCAA Tournament appearances, 18 conference championships and 17 coach of the year awards. Her teams have posted 30 winning seasons during her 32-year tenure, and she will be inducted into the AVCA Hall of Fame on Thursday, Dec. 13, in Sacramento.
This season, Colberg, who was named the Big Sky’s Coach of the Year for the eighth time in 11 years, led the Hornets to a 29-8 overall record, a 13-3 conference mark, a Big Sky regular season and tournament championship, and a second round appearance at the NCAA Tournament. The Hornets were making their sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance and 10th in the last 11 years.
The honor for Colberg marks her fifth career regional coach of the year award, and first since the Hornets joined the Div. I ranks in 1991. Colberg owns the best career winning percentage of any sport at Sacramento State, and her 828 victories are fourth among active NCAA Div I head volleyball coaches.
Stidham was impressive in her first and only season at Sacramento State. The senior from Fresno, Calif., who transferred from Saint Mary’s prior to the season, was a first team all-conference selection as well as the Big Sky Tournament MVP.
She finished the year with 710 kills, the second best mark in Big Sky Conference single-season history and the third best mark in Sacramento State history. Her average of 5.30 kills per game is currently the ninth best mark in the nation, and her 30 double-doubles (kills and digs) were eight more than any other player in the conference. Earlier this season, she became the first player in Sacramento State’s Div. I history (1991-pres.) to earn AVCA National Player of the Week honors.
Among Big Sky leaders, she finished the season second in kills, points (5.94 per game) and service aces (0.43 per game), and fourth in digs (4.40 per game). The powerful outside hitter tallied double figures in kills in all but two matches, and had 17 matches with at least 20 kills. In addition, her 58 service aces led the Big Sky and tied for the seventh best mark in Hornet history. Stidham was named the Big Sky Player of the Week five times, the most in the conference this year and tied for the most since the Hornets joined the Big Sky in 1996.
Stidham becomes the fourth Hornet in the last five years to earn all-region honors, joining Kristin Lutes (2006), Sandra Bandimere (2004) and Lisa Beauchene (2003).
What makes the awards for both Stidham and Colberg even more impressive is the Pacific Region is arguably the toughest in the nation as it contains many teams on the West Coast, including six teams ranked among the nation’s top 10 (Stanford, Cal, USC, UCLA, Oregon and Washington).
Sacramento State’s season recently came to a close as the team lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to No. 1 seed Stanford. The Hornets knocked off Minnesota in the first round. In addition, the team has now won either the Big Sky’s regular season and/or tournament championships each of the last 11 years.