Statesmen Sweep Fall Player of the Year Awards

Statesmen Sweep Fall Player of the Year Awards

By Bryant Marks

SOUTH PRINCE GEORGE, VA -- Three Richard Bland College student-athletes representing men's and women's soccer and women's volleyball have been recognized as Region X Conference Players of the Year in voting conducted by the conference, providing Statesmen athletics with a clean sweep of prestigious awards for the first time in school history.

 The Player of the Year recipients include Gorka Delgado from men's soccer, Alexia Spencer representing women's soccer and volleyball's Ayanna Swan. The Conference also announced that 12 RBC student-athletes earned All-Conference honors.

 Gorka Delgado led Region X in scoring with 24 goals – a new single-season program record – and was the leading scoring in NJCAA Division I before an injury cut his season short with five games remaining. His 31 career goals rank first in school history and his 2019 season total currently ranks third in the country. The second-year player's aggressive style on the pitch saw him score at least one goal in every game but one and lead RBC in points with 52 (24 goals, four assists). Delgado tallied a career-best six goals in the season opener against Southwest Virginia, added four goals against Northern Virginia Community College and three against Region X foe Spartanburg Methodist. An efficient attacker, Delgado had eight game-winning goals and a .673 shot on goal percentage. He had 31 shots on goal, best on the team and converted on both of his penalty kicks.  

 "Gorka was a silent giant on the field," said head men's coach Damien Westfield. "He's quiet and lets his soccer ability do the talking for him. Gorka is determined and focused in his own way, and it showed in his performance throughout the season."

 In RBC's inaugural women's soccer game, first-year player Alexia Spencer scored seven goals, setting herself and the Statesmen team up for a successful first season. In just 13 games, Spencer led Region X in scoring with 20 goals, four of which were game-winners. She led RBC in 41 points (20 goals, 1 assist), shots on goal (27) and shots on goal percentage (.692). She had at least one goal in all but four games, including four against rival Louisburg College and three versus Regent College. 

 "Having Alexia earn Player of the Year honors puts our program in a great position to improve next season," says head women's coach Damien Westfield. 

 Ayanna Swan is a force to reckoned with on the volleyball court.  She not only can sky over her opponents for a big slam, but she can stop her opponent's attacks right in their tracks with her blocking and defense.  Swan led all of Region X Division I with 313 kills and 4.06 kills per set.  Her athleticism is out of this world and she gets to show it off every play for RBC. Other teams created strategies to try to stop or even mitigate the damage she can cause on the court but was done with little to no success.  Ayanna led the Statesmen to the Region X Championship match where the team barely lost a nail-biting fifth set after fighting neck and neck even past the normal score to win the match.  Swan's talent has not only been seen by RBC and her opponents but has been recognized by NCAA Division I teams.  She hopes to continue this success at Virginia Commonwealth University as she will fill a key role in their women's volleyball program.  Richard Bland is proud to have Ayanna Swan as a student-athlete here and can proudly call her the 2019 Region X Women's Volleyball Player of the Year!

Adding on to these players' accomplishments, Richard Bland also had multiple Region X All-Conference selections:

Men's Soccer

1st Team All-Conference

Matthew Ridley

Gorka Delgado

Gonzalo Bazan

2nd Team All-Conference

Nehemie Lamtoukou

Antonio Ferreira

Juan Menjivar

Women's Soccer

1st Team All-Conference

Alexia Spencer

2nd Team All-Conference

Jenaka Derksen

Julia Munzo-Delgado Molinero

Women's Volleyball

1st Team All-Conference

Ayanna Swan

Emma Lazerson

Anna Ney