Women's Volleyball

No. 1 Story of Year - Annie Mitchem named national player of year

No. 1 Story of Year - Annie Mitchem named national player of year

Irvine Valley freshman women's volleyball player Annie Mitchem's end of the 2013 season accomplishment is the No. 1 athletics story for the 2013-14 school year at IVC.

The 6-2 middle blocker had already been named the Orange Empire Conference player of the year, all-region, all-state and All-American for her dominant effort on the court.

But in December she received an even bigger award. Mitchem was selected as the 2013 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) two-year college player of the year.

The award has been handed out since 1987 and Mitchem became just the third player in California community college history to be honored with the two-year player of the year distinction.

The others were Nevena Siljegovic of Moorpark in 2003 and Jessica Lee of Golden West in 1993.


Irvine Valley freshman women's volleyball player Annie Mitchem was honored at the 2013 AVCA All-American/Players of the Year Banquet in Seattle, Wash. last December as the 2013 American Volleyball Coaches Association two-year college player of the year.

Mitchem helped lead the Lasers to a 24-2 overall record and their first State Championships appearance since 2009.

IVC defeated Santa Barbara City to qualify for state and in that regional final match, the Texas native smashed a team-high 20 kills, had eight blocks and recorded a .444 hitting percentage. 

Ranked second in the state in the last regular season poll, Irvine Valley was one of two schools from Southern California to compete in the CCCAA Championship.

Irvine Valley ended up third at the state event.

Mitchem, who was the Orange East Conference Player of the Year, dominated the net in her first year at IVC. 

She ended the season ranked first in hitting percentage (.436) and blocks per set (1.61) while placing second in kills (309) and third in kills per set (3.64) as Irvine Valley went a perfect 14-0 in conference play to claim its fourth conference title in program history.

It was because of her play in the middle the Lasers held their conference opponents to just a .190 hitting percentage, while IVC hit a robust .292.

Mitchem also led the state statistics in total blocks (137) blocks per set (1.61).

Mitchem became the first player from the CCCAA to win AVCA Two Year College Player of the Year since 2003, when Nevena Siljegovic from Moorpark College took home the honor.

"She is as talented a young player as I have ever seen," Irvine Valley Coach Tom Pestolesi said of Mitchem. "There might be kids that jump a little higher or hit a little harder, but you don't see someone that has the all-around game she has at such a young age. It is remarkable."

At the banquet in Seattle, Mitchem received her award along with the 2013 AVCA Division I, II, III and NAIA All-Americans and Players of the Year.

Mitchem went on to help the IVC sand volleyball team claim its second straight club state title this past spring.

She is back and will be a leader for the Laser women's indoor team this fall as IVC tries to get back to the state tournament.


*In leading up to the start of the 2014-15 athletics campaign at Irvine Valley, which starts on Aug. 25 with women's volleyball, the Laser athletic department will countdown the top 10 IVC sports stories from the 2013-14 school year.

The countdown will begin on Thursday, Aug. 7 with the No. 10 story of the year and work its way down to No. 1 on Thursday, Aug. 21.

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