South Dakota sophomore libero Amber Kobus (Columbus, NE) was named the 2006 North Central Conference Defensive Specialist of the Year, while junior setter Ashley Gross (Norfolk, NE) was a All-NCC honorable mention selection. Kobus becomes the first Coyote to earn the defensive award, while Gross picks up her first all-league honor.
This year, Kobus set the all-time single-season USD digs record with her total of 615, bettering the previous mark of 601 set by Lindsey Soukup in 2004. She led the NCC in digs as well as ranking 24th in NCAA Division II this season, and she also was tops in the league in service aces with her total of 50, which was tied for the sixth-best single-season total in school history. Kobus has 883 career digs, which ranks eighth on the Coyote all-time career digs list.
Gross, who last week was named to the Academic All-NCC team, finished the year with 373 kills, which ranked ninth in the NCC and also was the ninth-best single-season effort in South Dakota history. She was second on the USD charts in blocks (73), third in assists (196) and tied for fifth in service aces (11). Gross has already moved into 10th-place on the Coyote all-time career assists list (530).
South Dakota finished the 2006 season with a 6-22 overall record, earning a tie for sixth in the NCC with a 1-11 mark.