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Moments from the 2017-18 season: Hunt's historic season for Niagara volleyball

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS

Hunt
NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. -- "This one means the most because I'm a senior. I wanted to accomplish my goal and I did," stated Rylee Hunt shortly after being named the 2018 MAAC Libero of the Year at the MAAC Volleyball banquet in Fairfield, Conn.

The award was extra significant as Hunt became the first-ever three-time recipient of the MAAC Libero of the Year.

A four-year starter, she anchored the backline of Niagara's staunch defense. Hunt finished her career with 2,311 digs for second most in program history. Hunt ranked second in total digs and fourth in digs per set (5.1) among active career categories in the NCAA. Hunt led the team in digs in each season, is second on the career digs list, fifth on the career aces list and holds the program's record for digs in a five-set match.

Hunt was part of the class that resurrected the program, culminating to the 2017 season when Niagara went 18-10 and finished second in the MAAC with a 14-4 record. The 18 wins and .642 win percentage are fourth-best in program history, while the 14 conference wins are tied for third most in program history. 

The Purple Eagles led the MAAC and finished 20th in the nation in digs per set (17.58) with Hunt playing a pivotal role. Her career-best 6.17 digs per set were third in the nation and are the second most in MAAC history. Hunt concluded the season 10th in the nation in total digs (648), which are second most in program history. She recorded 20 or more digs 20 times during the season and notched a league-high 42 digs on October 1. She registered seven of the 10 highest single-match dig totals.

Hunt, who was named the 2017 Preseason MAAC Libero of the Year, was selected to the Pioneer Classic tournament team and named the MVP of the Hartford Invitational during the non-conference season. Hunt collected the first of her MAAC-record nine Libero of the Week awards on September 5 to start a string of three straight selections. She ended the season winning the last five MAAC Libero of the Week awards. In her final collegiate match, she had a match-high 18 digs to be in double-digit digs in 27 out of 28 matches during the season and was named to the MAAC All-Tournament Team.

Hunt, who was named to the MAAC All-Academic Team and to the MAAC Academic Honor Roll, graduated with degrees in criminal justice and sociology in May 2018.