Titans Announce Award Winners at Annual Banquet

Kayla Neto and Gabrielle Dewberry - Photo by Matt Brown Visuals, Sept. 15, 2012
Kayla Neto and Gabrielle Dewberry - Photo by Matt Brown Visuals, Sept. 15, 2012

FULLERTON, Calif. – Senior Kayla Neto was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2012 Cal State Fullerton volleyball team, it was announced at the program's annual banquet on Friday night.

In addition, senior Gabrielle Dewberry was given the Coach's Award, while sophomore Devin Ulmer received the Team Player Award, and junior Leah Best garnered Most Improved honors.

Neto, a four-year member of the Titan volleyball program, was named by Cal State Fullerton as its 2012-13 Big West Female Scholar Athlete of the Year.

Neto capped her prolific career with the Titans by producing a stellar senior season.

Following the 2012 campaign, she earned American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American honorable mention recognition for the second time in her career. She became the first student-athlete in Titan volleyball program history to earn honorable mention accolades on two occasions, after also capturing the honor as a freshman in 2009.

Neto was in consideration for All-American credentials after being named to the AVCA West All-Region team. The all-region honor was the second for Neto during her time at Fullerton.

A native of Clarksburg, Calif., Neto was also named to the Big West Conference First Team for the fourth consecutive year, marking just the eighth time in the league's history a women's volleyball player has become a four-time honoree.

During 2012, Neto led the Titans averaging 4.33 kills per set (541), a mark that also ranked second in the Big West Conference, trailing only Big West Player of the Year Emily Hartong (4.66 k/s).

Neto departs Fullerton with her name scattered over the record books. She holds the all-time records at Fullerton for kills (1,628) and points (1,918.5). In addition she ranks in the top-10 of 10 all-time categories including kills per set (3.59; 4th), attack attempts (4,602; 1st), attacking percentage (.211; 7th), service aces (104, T-6th), digs (937; 10th), solo blocks (60; 6th), block assists (253; 5th), total blocks (313; 5th), sets played (454; 2nd) and matches played (122; T-5th).

She played in every match and set during her career.

Dewberry played in 95 matches during her career with the Titans, and during that time totaled 1,269 career digs, a number that ranks fourth in Fullerton all-time history. In addition, Dewberry totaled 52 kills, 233 assists, and 64 aces during her career. Her mark of 34 digs in Fullerton's five-set win at UC Santa Barbara on Oct. 19 was a career best for the senior, and also tied for sixth in single-match history.

In 2012, Dewberry's 4.80 digs per set ranked third in the Big West. Also, Dewberry totaled 600 digs last season, ranking second all-time in Fullerton single-season history. The native of Centennial, Colo., was also named to the Fullerton Classic all-tournament team, and she totaled 25 or more digs in eight matches during her senior campaign.

In the last two years with the Titans, Ulmer has played in 36 matches, totaling eight service aces and 193 digs. The native of Chicago, totaled double-digit digs in four matches this season.

Best recently completed her second season at Cal State Fullerton, and in 2012 she totaled 103 blocks assists for the Titans, a number that tied for fourth in the program's single-season history.  In addition, Best added 167 kills last season, recording five matches with double-digit totals.

Best showed considerable improvement from her sophomore to junior campaign, more than doubling her kill (79, 2011; 167, 2012) and point (106.5, 2011; 238.5; 2012) totals, while coming very close to tripling her block (46, 2011; 123, 2012) total.


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