Albany, NY—The Sage College's department of athletics gathered to recognize and honor the outstanding performances of the 2017-2018 year with the naming of the athletic award winners for the 15 varsity athletic teams. In addition to awarding the Gator Award, for the Most Outstanding Player, the department also named the 2017-2018 Female and Male Athletes of the Year as well as the Dean Sharon Robinson Senior Male and Female Scholar-Athletes of the Year, which is given to the senior student-athlete with the highest overall grade point average, as well as the Aggie Stillman Perseverance Award.
Sage also awarded the Gator of the Year to members of the varsity teams, often awarded to the team's most valuable player. Named the Gator of the Year in women's volleyball was senior captain Alyssa Nellis (Johnstown, NY/Johnstown).
Head women's and men's volleyball coach Robert Verhayden noted of Alyssa, "Alyssa was both the statistical and motivational leader of the team." Verhayden added, "She was a team captain, who put the team first by playing two very unique and demanding positions. She was instrumental in our ability to compete in the Empire 8 and she is going to do great in life after college."
During her time with the women's volleyball team, Nellis helped the Gators as a four-year letterwinner and a 2017 team captain. In her time at Sage, Nellis helped to rewrite the Gator record books and made an impact on and off the court. On her career, she racked up 482 career kills, which is 16th best all-time at Sage. She also had a .183 career attack percentage, which is 10th best. She added 92 aces and finishes tied for 19th all-time with Katy Rimawi (2013-2016), while also adding 193 career total blocks. She ranks fifth all-time in total blocks, while her .530 blocks per set average is ninth best. She also racked up 436 career setting assists, also ninth.
On her 2017 season, she finished second on the team in points with 256.5 points while playing two very different positions. She added 161 kills with a 1.41 kills per set average. She boasted a .201 attack percentage with 412 setting assists. She also had a personal-best 74 total blocks and 252 digs.