STOCKTON – Amilya Thompson has worked hard to become as complete a volleyball player as possible.
Considering she is an All-American at two different positions, it’s fair to say she’s met her goal.
Thompson, a Delta College sophomore, was named an American Volleyball Coaches Association two-year college All-American for the second year in a row. She was also named the most valuable player of the Big 8 Conference for the second time.
As good as that sounds, it becomes especially impressive when it’s noted that last year she was an outside hitter and was switched to setter for much of this season, and excelled at a spot she had not really played before.
That’s why this year’s award means a little more to her than the honor in her freshman season.
“To be honest, I really didn’t think about winning it again. But when I heard I won the award, it meant more this year than last,” Thompson said. “My team trusted and believed in me and pushed me to be better in a position that I was definitely not comfortable in at first. I was definitely not used to being a setter because I had always been an attacker. But it was a very good experience to have.”
Delta head coach Molly Mordaunt-Hummel said those skills and Thompson’s attitude are primary reasons why the player is the first two-time All-American in Mordaunt-Hummel’s eight seasons in charge of the program.
“To be a two-time All-Ameircan is kind of unheard of,” Mordaunt-Hummel said. “I think it speaks volumes about Amilya as an athlete. I think what is really cool about her is when I asked her about changing positions, she immediately said she would do anything to help the team.”
Delta knew it was getting a good player in Thompson, who played at Lincoln High and was The Record’s volleyball player of the year in 2015.
Mordaunt-Hummel was confident Thompson could make the transition to setter. She was second on the Mustangs in assists (432) and digs (311), and was still a an offensive threat at the net with a team-high 302 kills.
Mordaunt-Hummel said that the move helped the Mustangs, and ultimately will help Thompson.
“It helps her volleyball IQ,” Mordaunt Hummel said. ”“When I am talking to four-year college coaches, they are incredibly impressed that she can play all positions. We really can put her anywhere on the court, and she would be effective.
“I think she’s going to be an impact player at D-1 level.”
Thompson, 18, has not committed to a four-year school, but is looking to make a decision by sometimke in February. She certainly feels ready after two years at Delta.
“I’ve had an amazing career at Delta,” Thompson said. “Molly and the coaching staff definitely helped me hone in on what it takes (to play) at the next level.”
Delta players Ashley Apel and Kelly Markham received first-team all-Big 8 honors. Apel, a sophomore middle blocker, had 233 kills this season. Markham, a sophomore outside hitter, had 166 kills.