Trio of Superlative Winners Highlight Volleyball’s Award Banquet


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – SWOSU Volleyball claimed three out of a possible six superlative awards at the 2021 Great American Conference Awards Banquet on Wednesday evening after Allie Hoang was named Setter of the Year, Markenzie Benoit was named GAC Newcomer of the Year, and Josh Collins was named Coach of the Year.

In addition to the specialty awards, Benoit and Hoang were both named First Team All-GAC selections while MacKenzie Harless earned an Honorable Mention nod.

Collins’ coach of the year title is the second of his career. SWOSU’s winningest coach was also named coach of the year back in 2018.

Hoang (Plano, Texas) averaged 9.75 assists per set which puts her third in the conference and just half an assist away from the top spot. The senior also ranks third in service aces on the year with 35. Hoang broke SWOSU’s all-time assists record earlier this season. She has now been named to the first team all-conference list in back-to-back seasons and has made the all-conference team each year since her sophomore season.

Benoit (Bedford, Texas) led the conference in hitting percentage (.357) and finished top-10 in the league in blocks and points. The senior is SWOSU’s top offensive threat, totaling 275 kills on the season.

Harless (Brownsburg, Ind.) finished in the top 20 in the conference in hitting percentage (.226) and was second on the team in blocks with 36.

SWOSU also had four individuals chosen as Distinguished Scholar Athletes. The scholar athlete awards recognize those that excel in the classroom as well as on the field. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be competing in the championship and have a cumulative grade point average of 3.70 or higher and at least 70 hours of credits. Hoang and Harless picked up this academic distinction, alongside Maicee Morgan and Sophia DeSantiago.

In the 10-year history of the Great American Conference, SWOSU has now had 31 individuals garner All-GAC awards and 13 earn the Distinguished Scholar Athlete distinction.

All-Great American Conference Awards (pdf)


GAC Player of the Year:

Malia Leatherland, Oklahoma Baptist

GAC Defensive Player of the Year:

Makenzie Thoman, Henderson State

GAC Setter of the Year:

Allie Hoang, Southwestern Oklahoma State

GAC Newcomer of the Year:

Markenzie Benoit, Southwestern Oklahoma State

GAC Freshman of the Year:

Addison Wimmer, Northwestern Oklahoma State

GAC Coach of the Year:

Josh Collins, Southwestern Oklahoma State

GAC Elite Scholar Athlete: Kellie McKinnon, Harding


* OH Malia Leatherland Oklahoma Baptist Sr. Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

MH Markenzie Benoit Southwestern Oklahoma State Sr. Bedford, Texas

S Allie Hoang Southwestern Oklahoma State Sr. Plano, Texas

OH Kaydee Honeycutt Northwestern Oklahoma State Sr. Marquez, Texas

OH Violeta Mendoza Quintana Henderson State Jr. Chihuahua, Mexico

S Sarah Morehead Harding Jr. Aledo, Texas

OH/DS Tymber Riley Arkansas Tech Sr. Bentonville, Arkansas

L Makenzie Thoman Henderson State Jr. O’Fallon, Missouri


RS Taneyah Brown Oklahoma Baptist Jr. Mesquite, Texas

S Kaylee Buell Oklahoma Baptist Sr. Ponder, Texas

L Alejandra Delgado East Central Jr. Cidra, Puerto Rico

S Ruthie Forson Southeastern Oklahoma State So. Denton, Texas

OH Thalianette Garcia East Central Jr. Ceiba, Puerto Rico

RS Haylee Paladini Arkansas Tech Sr. Fallon, Nevada

OH Emma Strickland East Central Fr. Mansfield, Texas

OH Addison Wimmer Northwestern Oklahoma State Fr. Yukon, Oklahoma


MH Avery Hellmuth Oklahoma Baptist So. Dallas, Texas

MB Kelli McKinnon Harding So. Trophy Club, Texas

OH Ally Stoner Harding Jr. Tulsa, Oklahoma

MB Audrey Poupard Oklahoma Baptist Jr. Prosper, Texas

OPP Sunny Batschelett Southern Nazarene So. Ponca City, Oklahoma

OH Christiane Uzoh Henderson State Fr. Beaumont, Texas

MB Emily Low Ouachita Sr. Austin, Texas

L Lexie Castillow Ouachita Sr. Greenwood, Arkansas

RS MacKenzie Harless Southwestern Oklahoma State Sr. Brownsburg, Indiana

OH Jamie Agnew Arkansas-Monticello Jr. Mountain City, Texas

L Grace Shehadeh Southeastern Oklahoma State Sr. Plano, Texas

S Morgan Schuster Southern Arkansas So. Arlington, Texas