ST. LOUIS – For Wittenberg senior outside hitter Kimmie Dyer, Sunday was a day four years in the making.
Dyer collected 12 kills and added 11 digs and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Division III Women’s Volleyball Championship as her Tigers defeated Christopher Newport 25-21, 25-21, 28-26.
The Tigers dropped just a set during the entirety of championship weekend.
Dyer, a Copley, Ohio, native, saw the award for what it was, though.
“This feels great, that’s for sure,” Dyer said. “I couldn’t have done this without my teammates, though. I owe this to my passers and my setters. This was [a total team effort].”
In total, Dyer collected 33 kills and 31 digs as Wittenberg downed California Lutheran in the quarterfinals, Eastern in the semifinals and CNU for the title.
One trained eye who was impressed with Dyer’s play during the final, and all weekend, was Dyer’s coach Paco Labrador.
“Kimmie Dyer has not only been a force on the floor, but she’s been a leader in the hotel, a leader inn the restaurants and on the practice floor,” Labrador said. “She’s been a leader inn the training room and in the locker room. We’re following her lead. She is a steady, confident, poised woman and I think everybody kind of feeds off that.”
In the aftermath of her team’s national championship, Dyer raved about her teammates — right side Christine Simpson and libero Christina Gilene — who made the all-tournament team.
To Dyer, the pair was the overriding part of the team’s success.
“Gilene is an outstanding libero and she is so much fun to play with,” Dyer said. “She is so confident. We’re very comfortable on the floor with each other. Christine is an outstanding hitter and an outstanding blocker for us. She is just amazing.”‘
For Dyer, the memories she has made as a national champion took their roots in high schools.
She followed Wittenberg’s run to the NCAA Division III national quarterfinals when she was a senior in high school.
“The class that was seniors before I graduated [from high school] were awesome and they had some great players that led them to amazing heights,” Dyer said. “They made the national quarterfinals three years in a row. I definitely knew that this was in reach, but we had to work for it. To be here and to be national champions has been my goal since day one. It feels awesome to have actually accomplished my goal.”
In addition to the three players from Wittenberg to be honored for their play at the Division III national tournament, Carthage’s Cindy Cavanaugh, Eastern’s Courtney Reinhold and Christopher Newport’s Bailey Jensen and Abby Hogge also made the team.