Glass, Hill Earn Women's Team Honors

By Bill Kauffman | Dec. 08, 2014, 11:44 a.m. (ET)

Alisha Glass (left) selected 2014 USA Volleyball Female Indoor Player of the Year and Kim Hill (right) named 2014 USA Volleyball Female Indoor Most Improved Player of the Year

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Dec. 8, 2014) – On a team filled with standout performers throughout the season, setter Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) edged out her teammates in earning the 2014 USA Volleyball Female Indoor Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. In addition, outside hitter Kim Hill (Portland, Ore.) was named as the 2014 USA Volleyball Female Indoor Most Improved Player of the Year.

“It’s definitely unexpected,” Glass said upon learning the news of her selection. “There are so many great players that I am fortunate to play with. We all push each other to be the best we can be and this type of award reflects that work and that dedication to making the team the best we can be.”

“To begin this Olympic cycle we set our sights on relentlessly pursuing mastery, so we could play this game better than it’s ever been played before, and Alisha continues to be a model in that pursuit,” U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly said. “Her hard work and progress helped make her our most consistent all-around performer this year - a difficult feat with so many people making critical contributions to our World Championship campaign. Alisha’s performance clearly helped lead the USA Women to that historic title.”

Hill believes the USA program itself creates an atmosphere that encourages improvement, not just in her own game.

“It’s such a great honor, especially with the culture of the USA gym where everyone is working so hard to improve all of time,” said Hill, who solidified her spot among the world’s elite in just her second season with the U.S. Women’s National Team after become the most valuable player of the 2014 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship. “This program just breeds improvement and I’m so happy that I’ve gotten to be a part of it.”

“Our athletes’ number-one job is to improve, and Kim has done stellar work in that pursuit,” Kiraly said. “To start, she needed convincing to attend the USA Women’s Open Tryout in February of 2013. Twenty months later, she earned the MVP of a major international competition. Kim’s focused improvement, making strides in several facets of her game even late in the season, helped lead our team to World Championship victory - right down to her kill on the final play.”

-> Alisha Glass Photo Gallery * Alisha Glass Wallpapers (1024x768 * 800x600 * 640x468)

Glass concluded her season by being named the Best Setter of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship in which the Americans won the event for the first time in the 62-year history of the event. She set Team USA to a 40.5 kill percent with a .247 hitting efficiency in starting 11 of 13 matches in the World Championship. Glass added 11 kills on 19 errorless attacks, 15 blocks and five aces during the competition.

“It really is an amazing accomplishment,” Glass said on winning the FIVB World Championship. “Every time I reflect on the experience, I’m right back there. I can remember the team, staff and organization putting everything we had into that tournament run and the medal around the neck was the reward.”

During matches in which she started this year in the USA Volleyball Cup, FIVB World Grand Prix and FIVB World Championship, Glass set the squad to a 38.8 kill percent. For the season, she started 23 matches and played in 93 sets. She averaged 0.74 points per set in 2014, broken down by averages of 0.35 blocks (33 total blocks), 0.30 kills (28 total kills) and 0.09 aces (8 total aces). She converted 45.9 percent of her 61 attacks with an individual .443 hitting efficiency. Glass also proved to be a valuable defender as a setter, compiling 1.41 digs per set.

Even with all her personal successes, Glass is quick to point out that she could not perform at her world-class level without the support system surrounding her.

“I’m really thankful to my family, especially my mom!” Glass said. “I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like, but they believe in the goals that I have and they know that it takes some sacrifices. They’ve shaped who I am, and supported me along the way, through all the ups and downs. Also, I’d like to thank the staff. They put in so many hours outside of practice and still are available to watch video, work with us one-on-one, or just there to chat when we need it. They’ve created such an amazing environment where everyone can be the best versions of themselves as long as they put in the work!”

-> Kim Hill Photo Gallery * Kim Hill Wallpapers (1024x768 * 800x600 * 640x468)

In 2014, Hill started 24 matches while averaging 2.99 points and 1.24 digs per set. She converted 38.4 percent of her attacks into points.

All the pieces came together for Hill during the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship as she scored 20 points in the gold-medal match leading Team USA to a four-set win over China. For her efforts, Hill was named the most valuable player of the World Championship, joining a legacy of names such as Lang Ping of China, Regla Torres of Cuba, Irina Parkhamchuk of Soviet Union and Ekaterina Gamova of Russia as past MVPs of the FIVB's signature event.

Hill looks back to a disappointing FIVB World Grand Prix as a factor in her World Championship most valuable player performance.

“Well I think the biggest breakthrough for me personally was working on my hitting,” Hill said. “After a disappointing performance at World Grand Prix, we came back to the gym and us outside hitters started working on specific points of our approach and being more explosive to the ball. Since I don’t have the arm that a lot of big hitters have, being explosive is huge for me and that’s made a big difference.”

Hill sees the 2014, particularly the World Championship, as a major accomplishment for the team that will yield confidence down the road.

“The feeling was incredible of course, but since it’s been 2 months and we’re all back playing with our pro teams, we’re no longer in the happy dream state,” Hill said. “We’re back to work, trying to get better every day. The memory of the win just gives us confidence of what we’re capable of, but we’re always moving forward.”