The NAIA announced that Cassidy Rea of Westmont women’s volleyball has been named to the 2019 NAIA All-America Second Team.
Known for her ability to put the ball on the floor with authority, the senior right side hitter posted a .312 attack percentage. Her 496 kills this season ranks 14th in the NAIA and sixth for a single season in the Warrior record book.
Asked what makes Rea such an effective offensive weapon, Westmont head coach Ruth McGolpin answered, “Her heavy arm is key. The fact that she is a lefty and 6-3 doesn’t hurt. She also has what we affectionately call the ‘spatch’. She looks like she is going to hit it, but she taps it and it goes down in the middle of the court in that donut area.”
Not only did Rea help provide Westmont with a potent offensive attack, but she provided leadership off the court as well. As Westmont only volleyball player to have played at the NAIA National Championship all four years of her collegiate career, McGolpin looked to Rea to help prepare the team as they made a run this season all the way to the national championship game.
“The fact that she had experience playing in a higher level of volleyball at nationals helped us,” said the coach. “She was not only a big presence on the court, but off the court as well. She helped the younger players know that they needed rest and needed to eat right.”
Her enthusiasm and encouragement of her teammates drew the attention of tournament officials at this year’s national championship
“Cassidy has a habit of cheering, ‘Let’s go’ in a deep, fun voice,” reported McGolpin. “After the semifinal match against Viterbo (Wis.), the staff at the scoring table ask me if I knew how many times #11 said, ‘Let’s go’. They had kept track and tabulated it as 79 times during that three-set match.”
This latest accolade is but one in a string of recognitions Rea has received over her four-year career, both on and off the court. After the conclusion of her first year, Rea was named the Golden State Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year and has been named to the All-GSAC team every season since.
A three-time GSAC Athlete of the Week (twice this year), Rea is also a two-time NAIA and GSAC Scholar-Athlete.
Last year, Rea was honored with the NAIA’s A. O. Duer Award, given to just one male and one female NAIA athlete from across the country who excels in scholarship, character and citizenship.
Rea is the 15th Warrior to be honored as an NAIA Volleyball All-American.