COSTA MESA, Calif. – Vanguard's Carla Cantarella has earned National Volleyball Player of the Week recognition for her winning efforts on the court against NAIA No. 2 Concordia and San Diego Christian last week.
Behind a 27-assist, 18-dig performance from Cantarella, the Lions handed Concordia its first Golden State Athletic Conference loss in three years and just its third loss since the 2011 National Championship match.
"Last week's match against Concordia was unbelievable," Cantarella said. "As a team, I think we showed so much passion, heart and trust in each other. I have to thank my coaches and my teammates for having so much confidence in me to be the setter for this team. I love my team and my coaches and it is such a blessing and an honor to even be nominated as player of the week."
Cantarella also put double-digit numbers up in assists and digs against San Diego Christian on the road as the Pride defeated the Hawks 3-0. She added a service ace to her stat-line in the contest.
On the week, Cantarella made zero receiving errors. Her excellent numbers at setter came while splitting time in the Lions' 6-2 offensive rotation with freshman Myranda Cunningham.
The nationally-renown GSAC announced Cantarella as its volleyball player of the week on Monday afternoon, moving her into the NAIA pool of conference winners, making her eligible for the nationwide award.
"I am so thrilled that Carla received this recognition both within the GSAC as well as nationally," head coach Eryn Leja said. "Her performances this past week as well as since the 2013 season began have really impressed both her teammates as well as our coaching staff. Carla put a lot of work into her game last spring both defensively and offensively with setting and it has slowly made heads turn. The past few weeks she has been able to fine-tune her skills and really put her strengths together to help our team earn a win over the number two team in the country with a double-double performance. Her serving game is always tough and she is the ultimate team player. Her character is truly inspiring for such a young athlete. I know she is grateful for these awards and for having a great team behind her who has always supported her success."
Cantarella becomes Leja's first NAIA Volleyball Player of the Week.
Vanguard has won all of its November match-ups. On November 2nd, Cantarella managed 23 assists, 8 digs and an ace against No. 11 The Master's College in the NAIA Match of the Week, which the Blue and Gold claimed in five sets.