Arneson and Neely are the first NSU volleyball players to make the all-academic team since Yelena Enwere in 2009. The Lady Demons have not had two athletes make the team since Flavia Bella and Isabela Duarte made the third team in 2005.
The NSU volleyball team (20-13 overall, 12-6 SLC) enjoyed a record-breaking season in which it recorded its first 20-win season since 1975 and the most Southland wins in program history. The Lady Demons finished tied for third place in the conference standings, another program record.
“I am very proud of these two young ladies,” said NSU co-head coach Hugh Hernesman. “They, as well as numerous other players in our program, represent our program’s and department’s core value of academic achievement.
“Both Mackenzie and Keelie were vital contributors to our program’s on-court success this past season but, more importantly, they also represent the importance we place on our academics here at Northwestern State. In studying the list of nominees, it was a very competitive group with a large number of qualified student-athletes, so they should be especially proud of being selected.”
Arneson is a hospitality, management and tourism major with a 3.61 grade-point average. The Tomball, Texas native earned First Team All-Southland Conference honors after finishing second in the conference in digs at 5.00 per set.
Arneson broke the NSU single-season digs record after amassing 618 digs to surpass her own record of 539.
Neely is majoring in health and exercise sciences and has a cumulative grade-point average of 3.92. The sophomore outside hitter registered 319 kills, 72 blocks and 35 aces.
This is Neely’s first Southland Conference accolade.