2000 AVCA NAIA National Player of the Year


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Neslihan YilmazColorado Springs, Colo. - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) is pleased to announce that Dickinson State University's Neslihan Yilmaz, a senior outside hitter from Istanbul, Turkey, has been selected the 2000 AVCA NAIA National Player of the Year.

Yilmaz paced Dickinson State to a 40-1 record and the NAIA national title. The Lady Blue Hawks defeated Columbia College, ranked No. 1 in the NAIA national poll, 11-15, 15-10, 15-4, 15-13 in the championship match in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Dec. 2. Yilmaz tallied 19 kills, 14 digs and a .333 attack percentage in the victory. During the 2000 NAIA Tournament, Yilmaz contributed 5.38 kills and 5.12 digs per game en route to being named NAIA National Tournament Player of the Year.

Yilmaz contributed 759 kills (5.84 per game), 512 digs (3.94 per game), 95 blocks (0.73 per game) and 83 service aces (0.64 per game) during the 2000 season. She charted a .396 attack percentage for the season over 130 games. Yilmaz completed her career with 2,663 kills, 2,001 digs, 358 blocks and 266 service aces.

Yilmaz, who missed all of last season due to an injury, is a four-time AVCA NAIA All-American (1996, 1997, 1998 and 2000).

The formal presentation of the award to the 2000 AVCA National Players of the Year will be made Dec. 15, 2000, in Richmond, Va., at the AVCA All-America/Player of the Year banquet, beginning at 11 a.m.  The banquet, which will take place at the Richmond Marriott Hotel, is held in conjunction with the 2000 AVCA National Convention and NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball National Championship.

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