PRINCESS ANNE, MD -- After leading the Hawks to their second straight MEAC title, Saitaua Iosia has been named a COBRA Magazine National Player of the Year Finalist, announced in the publication's December 2012 issue.
Iosia (Long Beach, Calif.) was named a 2012 Preseason Player of the Year candidate by COBRA earlier this season after being the magazine's Rookie of the Year and an All-National First Team member in 2011. She is the only player from an HBCU to be a National Player of the Year finalist.
This season, the sophomore outside hitter led UMES with 376 kills with a .286 hitting percentage. She is second in all of Division I with 0.71 aces per set, totaling 62 on the season, adding 219 digs on the year.
Including a 25-kill performance in the conference title match, Iosia was honored as the MEAC Tournament Most Outstanding Performer, totaling 60 kills, 10 aces and 32 digs in the three matches.
The online publication COBRA Magazine, in its mission statement, honors the success of volleyball players of African, Samoan and Tongan descent.
The other COBRA Magazine National Player of the Year Finalists include Haley Jo Eckerman of Texas, Sareea Freeman of Florida State, Deja McClendon and Ariel Scott of Penn State, Tyler Henderson of Tulsa, Chloe Mann of Florida and Nrithya Sundararaman of Miami (Fla.). The publication will determine its National Player of the Year in its next issue.
In addition, Ndidi Ibe (North Richland Hills, Texas) was recognized for strong play in the last couple of weeks for UMES.
Iosia, Ibe and the Hawks will find out where they play next during the NCAA selection show tomorrow at 4 p.m.