ONEONTA — SUNY Oneonta athletics is closing out the 2019-20 year by recognizing five women and five men as top performers. They are recognizing junior Clara Culeton (Oswego).
Culeton put together one of the best overall seasons in the history of the women’s volleyball program in helping to lead the Red Dragons to a fourth-place finish in the SUNYAC, a four spot improvement from the previous year. Oneonta finished with a record of 23-9 its most wins since 2012.
Culeton’s season was capped by becoming only the third player in program history to be recognized by the AVCA as an All-American being selected as an honorable mention. This followed her being named to the All-Region Team for New York while being a First Team All-Conference selection.
Culeton led Oneonta again this year in kills, blocks and hitting percentage. Culeton achieved career highs in all three categories last fall, posting 321 kills, 102 blocks while hitting .406. She led the SUNYAC in hitting percentage and was third in both kills and blocks. Nationally, Culeton was eighth overall in Division III in hitting percentage while setting the single season program record. Culeton posted a season high 17 kills against Brockport on Oct. 12 and had a season high seven blocks versus Skidmore on Sept. 21.
“When Clara was a freshman, I remember having a conversation with her that she could be an All-American for our program. At the time, I do not believe she realized that was an attainable goal for her. After that conversation, Clara has dedicated herself to becoming the best in our conference and one of the best in the nation. Her drive comes from not only her personal success, but the success of our entire team. Despite her statistical accolades and her national recognition, she remains one of the humblest players I have ever coached. She knows that every accolade she earns is attributed to her teammates and is always the first to address that if she is ever honored. It has been a true honor to coach Clara!”, said head coach Ashley Coyle.
SUNY Oneonta supports 21 varsity teams and is a member of the SUNYAC Conference while competing at the NCAA Division III level. The Red Dragons have enjoyed a long history of success athletically celebrating National Champions and All-Americans along with Conference, Regional and National Players of the Year. Oneonta student athletes compete on state-of-art athletic facilities while enjoying modern locker rooms.