Volleyball Coaches Earn National Honors

Posted by Janae Melvin on June 28, 2017 in This season, Ottawa University head volleyball coach Melissa Blessington accomplished something that is very rarely done in one academic year, outside of the sports of track and field and cross country. She was named conference coach of the year twice.

Blessington was named KCAC Volleyball Coach of the Year this past fall for the women’s volleyball team and in the spring she was named Midwest Conference Coach of the Year for the men’s volleyball team.

“I feel extremely honored to have won coach of the year in both men’s and women’s volleyball,” said Blessington. “I want to thank Ottawa and my administration for allowing me to create programs that allow our players to compete at such a high level.”

She has led the women’s team to two straight KCAC regular season titles, two KCAC Tournament titles and two trips to the NAIA National Tournament. In just the second year of men’s volleyball at OU, Blessington led the Braves to a 14 win improvement from 2016, a national ranking as high as no. 2 in the NAIA and their first trip to the NAIA Invitational Tournament.

Assistant coach Tom Sorensen also earned national recognition for his work with the men’s volleyball season, being named the AVCA/NAIA Assistant Coach of the Year. Sorensen is in his second season as an assistant coach with the Braves. He has helped OU to a record of 25-6, a 14-win improvement from 2016 and a national ranking of has high as no. 2 in the NAIA. Sorensen has also helped lead the Braves
to a NAIA National Invitational appearance, the first in the second year program’s history.

“I’m very happy that Tom has been recognized for and received this award,” said OU head men’s volleyball coach Melissa Blessington. “He has been a major part of our success this year and is very deserving.”