MO State HS Sports

Sands, Iliff and Forbes Named to Academic All-District Volleyball Team

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COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Volleyball student-athletes Maya Sands, Jordan Iliff and Lauren Forbes were named to the Academic All-District Volleyball Team, the College Sports Communicators announced Tuesday.

The 2023 Academic All-District Volleyball Teams, selected by College Sports Communicators, recognize the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances on the court and in the classroom.

Sands, Iliff and Forbes all earned the distinction for the first time in their careers Tuesday.

The trio is Mizzou’s first Academic All-District selections since Kylie Deberg in 2020. Missouri now has 13 CoSIDA/CSC All-District players. 

Maya Sands

Sophomore libero Maya Sands was selected to her first career Academic All-District Volleyball Team Tuesday.

The Rock Falls, Illinois, native, has a 4.00 GPA and is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s in Parks, Recreation, & Sport: Sport Management at Mizzou. 

The 2023 AVCA Southeast All-Region selection led the SEC with a career-best 542 digs (4.71 digs/set) in 2023.

In the NCAA, Sands ranked 32nd overall for digs and produced double-digit digs in every match of Mizzou’s regular season (29 of 31 total matches). 

Most recently, the 2023 SEC Libero of the Year logged back-to-back nine-dig performances in the 2023 NCAA Tournament against Delaware and top-ranked Nebraska, Dec. 1-2 in Lincoln, Nebraska. 

Sands registered six performances of 24-plus digs (four 24-dig matches in 2023), along with 20 or more digs in 14 matches this season.

In SEC play, Sands paced the conference with 339 digs and 4.99 digs per set.

The 2023 All-SEC Team selection and two-time SEC Defensive Player of the Week (Oct. 16 and Nov. 13) grabbed a career-high 30 digs to go with two assists and an ace against Ole Miss on Oct. 15.

She also posted consecutive 23-dig performances against Texas A&M (Nov. 10) and Auburn (Nov. 12).

In the Mizzou single season record books, Sands ranks fifth overall for digs. 

In her career, Sands has compiled 954 digs and is on the heels of 1,000.

Jordan Iliff

Junior rightside hitter Jordan Iliff was named to her first career Academic All-District Volleyball Team Tuesday.

The St. Louis, native, currently has a 3.55 GPA and is studying Health Science at Missouri. Academically, she has earned 2022 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll and 2021-22 First-Year Academic SEC Honor Roll laurels.

Iliff, a 2023 AVCA All-Region Honorable Mention selection, paced the Tigers in 2023 with a career-best 388 kills (3.40 kills/set, 10th in the SEC) which ranked seventh in the SEC. She also led Mizzou this season, accounting for 468 points (4.11 points/set, eighth in the SEC) for sixth in the league. 

Additionally, the six-rotation hitter recorded 45 aces (third in the SEC, 0.39 aces/set, fourth in the SEC) in 2023.

Iliff clocked double-digit kills in all but seven matches this season (24 of 31) including 15 of Mizzou’s 18 SEC matches.

The 2023 All-SEC Team performer posted 10 matches with at least 15 kills during the campaign.

Most recently, Iliff guided the Tigers to a 2023 NCAA Tournament First Round victory over Delaware (Dec. 1), tallying 10 kills, three digs and three aces. She also provided six kills and five digs against top ranked Nebraska on Dec. 2. 

Iliff totaled a personal-best 22 kills (.500 hitting percentage) to complement seven digs, five blocks, two aces and an assist in Mizzou’s five-set win over Georgia on Nov. 5.

She also notched 21 kills (.455, one error on 44 total attacks) and a career-best 15 digs against South Carolina on Sept. 24.

Iliff concluded the league slate ranked eighth in the SEC for points (4.31 points/set, 293.0 points) and 10th for kills (3.54 kills/set, 241 kills). She also paced the SEC with 31 aces (0.46) in conference play.

The two-time SEC Offensive Player of the Week (Oct. 23 and Nov. 6) also provided a steady presence for Missouri behind the 10-foot line. Iliff recorded 23 matches with five-plus digs, while registering six double-doubles and finishing with double-digits digs seven times. 

Lauren Forbes

Junior defensive specialist Lauren Forbes was tabbed to her first career Academic All-District Volleyball Team Tuesday.

Forbes, a Springfield, Missouri, native, will graduate this weekend from Missouri with a Bachelor’s in Health Science. Following graduation, she plans to go to Anesthesiologist Assistant School. 

She currently has a 3.694 GPA and has been named to the 2022 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll and 2021-22 First-Year Academic SEC Honor Roll.

Forbes was selected to the 2023 SEC Volleyball Community Service Team after she paced the Tigers for community service hours.

She registered 124 digs, 12 assists and a career-best 16 aces in 2023. 

She compiled a career-high 18 digs against Bellarmine on Sept. 8.

In her career, Forbes tallied 435 career digs, 37 career aces and 57 career assists over 82 career matches (271 sets).

Most recently, she totaled four digs, an assist and an ace over Mizzou’s 2023 NCAA Tournament games in Lincoln, Nebraska, Dec. 1-2.

All three Mizzou Academic All-District honorees will advance to the national ballot to be voted on by CSC members. First-, second- and third-team Academic All-America honorees will be announced Jan. 9, 2024.

The Division II and III CSC Academic All-America® programs are partially financially supported by the NCAA Division II and III national governance structures to assist CSC with handling the awards fulfillment aspects for the 2022-23 Divisions II and III Academic All-America® programs. The NAIA CSC Academic All-America® program is partially financially supported through the NAIA governance structure.


This article is provided by University of Missouri Athletics