A champion in competition and a champion in the classroom. Valpo senior libero Rylee Cookerly (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) combines the best of both worlds, and on Tuesday, Cookerly was honored by the Missouri Valley Conference as its volleyball Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Cookerly was joined by teammate Jillie Grant (Maumee, Ohio/Anthony Wayne) on the MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team.
Cookerly has been stellar as ever with her play at libero this year for Valpo. The senior ranks 10th nationally and leads the Valley with 5.78 digs/set this year. She has reached double figures in digs in each of her 18 matches, including 20 or more digs on 12 occasions. Cookerly ranks third in MVC history with 2,514 career digs and will move into the top-15 in NCAA history in the category this week.
In the classroom, Cookerly owns a 3.97 cumulative GPA as a nursing major. This marks the third year in a row she has been a member of the MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team, while she picked up CoSIDA Academic All-District V recognition in 2018 and 2019. Cookerly earned the MVC Commissioner’s Academic Excellence Award each of the last two years and has been a member of the MVC Honor Roll every year at Valpo.
Grant has enjoyed the most productive season of her career on both sides of the ball as a six-rotation outside this spring for Valpo. She ranks second on the team with 2.83 kills/set and fourth defensively with 3.17 digs/set. Grant has reached double figures in digs 16 times this season and in kills 12 times, recording 12 double-doubles.
In the classroom, Grant carries a 3.83 cumulative GPA as an accounting and marketing double major. She earned the MVC Commissioner’s Academic Excellence Award and received Valpo Presidential Academic Honors last year, and has been a member of the MVC Honor Roll in her first two years at Valpo.