TALLAHASSEE, Fl. — For the first time in ACC history, a non-libero is crowned the conference's best defender as Florida State junior Taryn Knuth is named the 2019 ACC Defensive Player of the Year. It also marked the first time an FSU player has earned the award, as the middle blocker led the ACC and ranked fourth in the NCAA with 154 blocks, including 24 solo blocks.
Knuth is joined on the All-ACC First Team by senior Payton Caffrey and junior Jasmyn Martin was selected to the All-ACC Second Team, while Emma Clothier was chosen to the All-ACC Freshman Team. The four student-athletes named to the All-ACC teams is tied for third in the conference this season.
“I’m really proud of all four that were chosen to the All-ACC teams this year,” said FSU head coach Chris Poole. “We’ve had a year where a lot of different players have stepped up in different matches. So while we know that not everyone can be recognized, to get four honored by our conference that is continuing to get deeper and deeper is significant. There are no easy matches anymore in the ACC, and you see that with how competitive the matches are. Our depth was as good as it has ever been, and that is helping us really push the players in practice to get better.”
Caffrey finished the regular season ranked second in the conference in both kills per set (3.98) and points per set (4.45), while Martin completed her first season in the Garnet and Gold with 201 kills, a .272 hitting percentage and 78 blocks. Clothier ranks 48th in the NCAA in blocks per set with 1.25, and that total is ninth among freshman in the nation and tops in the ACC.
The Seminoles will open the 2019 NCAA Volleyball Championship in Gainesville, Fla. on Thursday, December 5 with a match against UCF (24-7) at 4:30 p.m.