ONEONTA — SUNY Oneonta athletics has recognized Oswego native Clara Culeton among its top-five women performers for the 2019-2020 school year.
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 SUNY Athletic Conference, a four-spot improvement from the previous year.
Oneonta finished with a record of 23-9, its most wins since 2012.
Culeton’s junior season was capped by becoming only the third player in program history to be recognized by the AVCA as an All-American, receiving 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. She achieved career highs in all three categories last fall, posting 321 kills and 102 blocks while hitting at a .406 percentage.
She led the SUNYAC in hitting percentage and was third in both kills and blocks.
Nationally, Culeton was eighth overall in NCAA 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 against 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,” Oneonta volleyball coach Ashley Coyle said. “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,” Coyle said.
Culeton is also a standout on the Oneonta women’s basketball team. This past season, she played in 25 games, starting 23. She averaged 6.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per game for the Dragons.