Sunday, 14 Jul 2024

USAV Serves Burkland Player of the Year Award

The volleyball season of Monique Burkland in 2017 was a remarkable journey of growth and achievement. Burkland’s exceptional serve played a key role in her being named USA Volleyball’s 2017 Female Sitting Player of the Year. Her teammate, Tia Edwards, was recognized as the Female Sitting Most Improved Player.

Burkland, a veteran outside hitter, expressed her satisfaction with her serve’s progress after years of hard work. She emphasized her confidence and determination to continue improving. The positive results of her serve were evident as she was awarded the Best Server title at both the World Super 6 and the ParaVolley Pan America Championships in 2017. Burkland’s outstanding performance also earned her the MVP title at the Pan Am Championships.

Despite her success, Burkland humbly admitted that she couldn’t pinpoint the exact reason behind the improvements in her serve. However, her coach, Bill Hamiter, praised her for being a well-rounded player with strong skills in various aspects of the game. According to Hamiter, Burkland’s scoring ability, court vision, passing, defense, and blocking have made her a valuable asset to the team.

Tia Edwards, the recipient of the Most Improved Player award, displayed significant progress in her game. While initially hesitant to pursue sitting volleyball due to not considering herself disabled, Edwards eventually fell in love with the sport after attending a camp encouraged by Coach Hamiter. She was part of the gold medal-winning 2016 Paralympic Team in Rio, although she had limited playing time. In 2017, Edwards had the opportunity to play a more substantial role in the World ParaVolley World Super 6 Tournament in China, showcasing her capabilities in hitting and serving.

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Edwards attributed her growth to the training she received at the University of Central Oklahoma. After briefly moving to Florida for warmer weather, she decided to return to Edmond, Oklahoma, to further develop her skills. Edwards acknowledged that playing sitting volleyball alone is not ideal and emphasized the importance of teamwork and support.

The USA Volleyball’s recognition of Monique Burkland and Tia Edwards highlights their exceptional contributions to the sport. Both players have demonstrated their talent, dedication, and continuous improvement throughout the 2017 season. Their achievements serve as an inspiration to aspiring volleyball players and a testament to the depth and competitiveness of the sport.


Q: How did Monique Burkland improve her serve?

A: Monique Burkland’s improved serve is the result of years of hard work and increased confidence. She overcame her fear of missing the serve and started going for it. Through subtle adjustments in her arm swing, Burkland achieved better snap on the ball, leading to more effective serves.

Q: What makes Monique Burkland a standout player?

A: Monique Burkland’s skill set extends beyond her exceptional serving abilities. She is a well-rounded player, excelling in various aspects of the game. Burkland’s scoring ability, court vision, passing, defense, and blocking contribute significantly to her team’s success.

Q: How did Tia Edwards’s game improve?

A: Tia Edwards’s game improved through dedicated training and increased playing time. She honed her hitting skills and elevated her serving capabilities. Edwards’s commitment to personal growth and her willingness to contribute to the team’s success have been instrumental in her development as a player.

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Monique Burkland’s outstanding serve led to her being named USA Volleyball’s 2017 Female Sitting Player of the Year, while Tia Edwards was recognized as the Female Sitting Most Improved Player. Burkland’s confidence and hard work paid off, resulting in her winning the Best Server titles at major competitions. Coach Bill Hamiter described Burkland as a versatile player, excelling in scoring, court vision, passing, defense, and blocking. Edwards’s development in hitting and serving showcased her growth as a player. Both athletes’ achievements inspire and highlight the competitiveness of the sport. For more information, visit