WINTHROP, Mass. – Simmons University's Amanda Fortune (Round Rock, Texas) was named to the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Second Team, while sophomore Faith Gray-Williams (Las Vegas, Nev.) was tabbed to the Third Team, it was announced today by the league.
Fortune established herself as one of the most efficient offensive players in the nation, ranking 30th among NCAA Division III players and second in the GNAC with a .357 hitting percentage. The 6'1" Fortune proved to be one of the most dynamic middle blockers in the conference, excelling on the defensive and offensive side of the net as well as behind the service line as the only player in the GNAC to average at least 0.62 blocks, 0.48 aces and 1.96 kills per set. The first year played in all 107 sets over 29 matches for the Sharks and ranked ninth in blocks and 15th in service aces per set to go with 2.82 points per set to stand 16th among conference leaders. The Round Rock High School product spiked for seven or more kills on 18 occasions, including double-digits four times and owned a streak of seven consecutive matches with seven or more, while averaging 2.62 kills per set from September 8-22. The former Austin Junior put down a season-best 16 kills and committed just three attack errors to post a .619 attack percentage at Anna Maria College on September 8. Fortune hit .400 or better in 12 outings, including a torrid effort of .800 with eight kills on 10 attempts vs. Fisher College on October 24. Fortune's service prowess was unparalleled among middle hitters, firing 51 aces and multiple aces in 13 contests, including a season-best six vs. Dean College on September 8 and at Emmanuel College on October 10.
Gray-Williams established herself as one of the best all-around players in the league as the only player among conference foes to average 2.15 kills, 3.87 assists, 2.24 digs, 0.35 aces and 0.37 blocks per set. Gray-Williams led all setters in kills per set and owned a respectable .157 hitting mark. The sophomore posted 14 double-doubles and fell just one short of a triple-double six times during the season. A graduate of Sierra Vista High School, Gray-Williams smashed a career-high 21 kills and added 19 assists, five digs and an ace on August 31 vs. Salve Regina University at the Colonial Classic in Danbury, Conn. Gray-Williams put down eight or more kills 18 times during the season and played in all 107 sets for Simmons. A Vegas Velocity product, she opened the season by averaging 3.19 kills and 3.84 assists per set over the first eight matches of the campaign. Gray-Williams proved to be a valuable defensive player as well, picking up five or more digs in all but five contests and got up for at least one block in all but seven matches. The second-year standout recorded at least one block in 10 straight outings from September 8-29 and got down for a personal-best 18 digs vs. Colby-Sawyer College and added nine kills, 15 assists and three aces on October 6.
For her career, Gray-Williams has seen action in 210 sets over 60 matches, while averaging 1.28 kills, 4.09 assists, 0.43 aces, 1.79 digs and 0.35 digs, while posting a .153 hitting percentage.
The Sharks finished the season with a 14-15 overall record, including 7-5 in league play and was defeated in the GNAC Championship Tournament Quarterfinals as the number six seed.