Golden Eagles earn All-SAC volleyball honors

JBU Sports Information

Chaney Odden/JBU Sports Information John Brown's Julie Milligan serves the ball against Science & Arts (Okla.) on Nov. 2 at Bill George Arena.

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Four John Brown volleyball players were named to the All-Sooner Athletic Conference first and second teams, the conference office announced Friday, Nov. 10.

Junior Julie Milligan and senior Savanna Riney were honored with first-team accolades, while juniors Erin Mullins and Taylor Golmen were selected to represent John Brown on the second team. Senior Morgan Fincham finished as an honorable mention.

Surpassing the 1,000-dig mark in her senior season, Milligan anchored the John Brown back row all season, appearing in 115 of 117 sets this season. She racked up 605 digs, averaging 5.26 scoops a-sets, which not only finished second in the Sooner Athletic, but also ranked 29th nationally. In 15 of John Brown's 32 matches, Milligan recorded at least 20 digs and surpassed the 30-dig mark twice, including a career-high 35 digs versus Science & Arts. She also excelled at the service line, finishing second in the SAC and 17th nationally with .54 aces per set.

The honor is the first of Milligan's career.

Riney returns to the first team for the second straight season after leading the Golden Eagles in kills (338), kills per set (2.94) and total attempts (940). She unleashed a career-high 25 kills against Kansas Wesleyan early this season and finished with double-digit terminations in 19 of the Golden Eagles' 32 matches. Finishing third in the league and 65th nationally in total kills, Riney also accumulated 1.32 digs per set (152 total) on defense and boasted a .951 reception percentage. In the front row, she added 52 blocks to accompany 36 service aces.

Riney became the 14th Golden Eagle in program history to surpass 1,000 career kills this season.

One year removed from the junior varsity program, Mullins became the second-most efficient attacker on the squad and set a new program record in the process. Hitting .308 (210-63-478) on the season, she also led the Sooner Athletic Conference with 114 total blocks (15 solo). Mullins finished in double-digit termination territory seven times on the season and twice matched a career-high with 14 kills, including a single-game efficiency record when she rattled off 14 kills on 15 swings (.867) against Science & Arts. Mullins posted at least five blocks on seven occasions in the front-row defensive effort.

Twice in three seasons, Golmen returns to the second team after leading the team with a .316 attacking efficiency in the middle, which led the Sooner Athletic. A career .335 hitter, Golmen pounded double-digit kills five times, including a 16-termination outburst at Oklahoma Panhandle State. Seven times on the year she finished a match hitting over .500 and nine times Golmen finished a match without committing an attacking error. The three-time All-SAC selection finished the year with 66 blocks, eight coming via the solo effort.

Fincham bookmarked her career by becoming only the ninth player in program history when she surpassed the 2,000-assist mark during the 2023 season. Earning her first-career All-SAC honor, Fincham paced the John Brown setting effort to the tune of 517 assists (4.97 per set), including 12 performances that included at least 20 helpers. She matched her previous career high with a 30-assists effort at Oklahoma Panhandle State and finished the season with 16 kills and 27 aces.

The 2023 season came to a close for the Golden Eagles in the quarterfinal round of the Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament when John Brown suffered a 3-1 setback against Oklahoma City on Tuesday, Nov. 7, inside Bill George Arena.