For the first time since 2015, the UNC Pembroke volleyball team sent a player to the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Volleyball Academic Team. Sophomore defensive specialist Anna Heinz becomes just the seventh different Brave in program history to be named to the distinguished list, the league office announced Wednesday.
Heinz, a Salemburg native, maintains a 3.52 GPA while majoring in Science Education at UNCP. She is one of 20 PBC volleyball players to earn the academic honor in 2017.
To be eligible for the all-academic team, a student-athlete must: participate in at least half of his/her team’s events and be either a starter or significant contributor; achieve a 3.30 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale; and complete at least one full academic year at his or her current institution and has reached sophomore athletic eligibility. The Peach Belt Conference sports information directors oversee and select the teams.
“I was very excited when I got the news. It is a challenge to be a successful student and an athlete,” said Heinz. “Our volleyball schedule is very demanding. We play teams in Florida and Georgia, sometimes mid-week, but you still have to be prepared and make those 8 a.m. classes.”
Heinz in her second season was selected as a team captain and has seen action in 29 of the Braves’ 32 matches this season and logged 204 digs, which ranks third on the team. The sophomore is averaging 2.08 digs per set and has tacked on 13 assists, 13 service aces and one kill. Heinz notched a season-high 15 digs against Mount Olive on Sept. 29 and has registered at least 12 digs six times this season.
Heinz who is majoring in science education and has her eye set on the goal of coaching college volleyball. This year she is coaching the 17U team for the LAVA (Lakewood Area Volleyball Association) Volleyball club.
“I love the sport and I really enjoy helping others learn the game,” she said.
Ellen McGill, the head volleyball coach for UNC Pembroke, said the program was fortunate to have Heinz.
“We are so proud of Anna,” McGill stated. “She takes great pride in her academics and has been a tremendous leader for us both on and off the court. We are lucky to have someone like Anna in our volleyball program.”
Heinz and the Braves made their first appearance in the PBC Tournament since 2013, battling USC Aiken in the quarterfinal round in Milledgeville, Ga., at the Centennial Center.