Volleyball’s Paul Named Heartland Freshman of Year

SAN ANTONIO — In the first games of her Rattler career, freshman Jenna Paul showed promise in making the All-Tournament Team in St. Mary’s opening tournament, only to extend her potential and talent throughout the season.

All the way to being named this year’s Heartland Conference Freshman of the Year as well as making the All-Conference Team.

The league’s announcement of Paul’s (Alvin, Texas) Freshman of the Year honor makes the second straight year St. Mary’s has owned the award, with now-sophomore Victorria Martinez (Arlington, Texas) winning it last season.

Playing in all of the 109 set of the 29-match season, Paul rallied in a team-high 311.5 points on the season. Her 5-foot-10 frame as an outside hitter helped the Rattlers to a kill-heavy season as she recorded 258 kills, the second most on the team behind Kelsey Huber (So., San Antonio) as well as the second-best hitting percentage at .223.

As the only Rattler represented on the All-Conference Team, Paul played a pivotal role at protecting the net, recording 45 blocks and 43 block assists on the season as well as bringing in 30 service aces, which ranked second on the team.

In addition to her honors as the Heartland Conference Freshman of the Year and earning a spot on the All-Conference Team in St. Mary’s second straight winning season (17-12), Paul was also represented on the St. Mary’s/Hilltopper Classic All-Tournament Team and the Setters Fall Classic All-Tournament Team earlier this season.

With four already to her name, Paul’s volleyball future certainly looks bright.

St. Mary’s University, as a Catholic Marianist University, fosters the formation of people in faith and educates leaders for the common good through community service, integrated liberal arts and professional education, and academic excellence. The University has six athletic national titles: men’s basketball (1989–NAIA), baseball (2001–NCAA Div. II), softball (1986–NAIA and 2002–NCAA Div. II) and an individual national champion in men’s golf (2006–NCAA Div. II) and a national academic championship in men’s golf (2009–NCAA Div. II). St. Mary’s also had more than 40 percent of its athletes named to conference, regional and/or national honor rolls this past year. St. Mary’s student–athletes graduation rate is 65 percent, higher than the NCAA Division II average of 55 percent. To learn more about St. Mary's, visit www.stmarytx.edu/athletics.