College Sports

Former Mascoutah star named OVC Freshman of the Year

Katriah Johnson, No. 15, celebrates a point as a player for Mascoutah High School last fall. Now a middle hitter at Murray State University, Johnson was named the Ohio Valley Conference Freshman of the Year.
Katriah Johnson, No. 15, celebrates a point as a player for Mascoutah High School last fall. Now a middle hitter at Murray State University, Johnson was named the Ohio Valley Conference Freshman of the Year. Zia Nizami

Katirah Johnson, a graduate of Mascoutah High School by way of her military family, was named the Ohio Valley Conference Freshman Volleyball Player of the Year.

The Murray State University middle hitter averaged 2.10 kills per set during conference play and her .367 hitting percentage was the second-best in the league. The Racers play Austin Peay Saturday for the OVC championship and automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.

Back on Oct. 21 against Tennessee State, Johnson broke the all-time single-match hitting percentage in MSU history as she hit .833 in the sweep. Johnson recorded 10 kills on just 12 swings, topping the previous mark of .818 set back in 2000 by Jessica Wood.

Johnson is the third Murray State player to receive OVC Freshman of the Year honors and the first since 2008.

A two-time All-Mississippi Valley Conference and Belleville News-Democrat All-Area selection, Johnson led Mascoutah to three consecutive conference titles and a pair of trips to the state tournament.

In addition to Johnson, Rachel Giustino (Algonquin, Ill.) and Rachel Holthaus (Winona, Mo.) were named to the All-OVC first team.

Mascoutah products Megan Lindsay and Liza Gober also are on the Murray State roster.

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