DOBSON — Having already been named Region X Player of the Year, Surry Community College’s Anika Thomas is now recognized as one of the top volleyball players in the entire nation.
Thomas, a sophomore outside hitter for the Knights, recently was named an honorable mention to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II All-American volleyball team. In total, 12 players each were named first- or second-team All-Americans and six more were listed as honorable mentions — meaning Thomas was one of just 30 players to be recognized across the country.
“I was amazed when I saw my name on that list. It is a great honor to be named an All-American and to be on a list with a group of other amazing players,” Thomas said. “The hard work finally paid off. It’s a great way to end my volleyball career.”
After playing most of her freshman season as a libero due to an injury to a teammate, Thomas moved back to her natural position of outside hitter in 2017. She finished in the top five in Region X in four categories this season as she helped lead the Knights to a 20-12 record.
The 5-11 Southwestern Randolph High School product placed second in Region X in kills with 345 and third in the region with 3.11 kills per set. Thomas was also an impact player on defense, finishing fourth in Region X with 541 digs and fifth in digs per set with 4.87. She also turned in a hitting percentage of .277 — the 12th-highest total in Region X.
“I am extremely proud of Anika and this is just a great way for her to end her career here at Surry,” said Surry volleyball coach Jan Marion-Kiser. “She has always played at such a high level and has given our program a strong two years. She has worked hard in the classroom and on the court. She has set herself up as one of the strongest players our program has had and we are lucky to have had her. She is a great player but an even better person and we wish her the best in her future endeavors.”