Conference USA Announces Postseason Awards

  0 volleymob | November 14th, 2018 | College - Women's Indoor, Conference USA, News

Courtesy: Conference USA

IRVING, Texas – Conference USA announced its 2018 volleyball all-conference teams on Wednesday with 11 of 13 programs represented across first, second and all-freshman teams. C-USA Regular-Season Champion Rice, North Texas and Charlotte led the pack with five selections each. Florida Atlantic and WKU both roster four players.

The 2018 C-USA Volleyball Championship will be hosted by Marshall at the Cam Henderson Center in Huntington, West Virginia, from Nov. 16-18. All matches, including Sunday’s title match, will be broadcast on ESPN+.

The Owls strung together a school-record 15-consecutive wins, toppling a mark that stood since 1995, and clinched the league’s regular-season crown for the first time. At 12-2, Rice claimed the No. 1 seed in the tournament with all-conference picks Nicole Lennon, Grace Morgan and Lee Ann Cunningham paving the way. Lennon, the 2017 C-USA Co-Freshman of the Year, lands third in the league rankings with 4.03 average kills. The sophomore has registered 10+ kills in 21-straight matches and leads the team in double-doubles, manufacturing 11 in her final 13 matches of the regular season. Morgan had the hot hand on both sides of the ball, registering league second-bests on a .374 hitting clip and 1.10 blocks per set. Cunningham was a four-time C-USA Defensive Player of the Week. The junior tops all Owls and ranks fourth in C-USA in digs (502) and digs per set (4.83).

Florida Atlantic tied for the highest amount of first-team nods in juniors Sigourney Kame, Massiel Matos and senior Ivone Martinez. The Owls crafted an 11-3 record in conference action, a two-match improvement from 2017, and earned the No. 4 seed in the championship. Kame ranks among C-USA’s top-10 in kills per set (3.62), hitting percentage (.332) and kills (304). Martinez, a five-time C-USA Setter of the Week this season, has consistently sat atop the national rankings with 12.60 kills per set. The Mexico native facilitated the league’s most lethal offense with 15.08 kills per set at a .288-percent attack rate. Matos was key in that success as her 0.42 service aces per set (41) are the highest in the conference and her 3.67 kills per set rank fifth.

North Texas and Southern Miss both notched two selections each. The Mean Green closed the book on the regular season with a seven-match win streak to clinch the championship’s fifth seed. Valerie Valerian owns a North Texas-best 387 kills and 18 service aces. Senior Karley York compiled 1,080 assists at a 10.09 rate per set, good for fourth in C-USA, and her 288 digs lead all Mean Green players.

Sarah Bell became the all-time career assists leader in Southern Miss history when she recorded her 4,757th-career helper on Oct. 16. The San Antonio, Texas, native’s career assists are the second-most of all active NCAA Division I setters. Bell currently has 33 50-assist matches in her career. The senior was also named a C-USA All-Academic selection on Tuesday. Senior Kylie Grandy tops the league with 4.26 average kills and ranks sixth with 0.32 service aces. Grandy appeared on the first-team roster after being slotted on the second squad in 2017.

Rachel Anderson is WKU’s lone first-team honoree. The three-time C-USA Offensive Player of the Week has been both an offensive and defensive threat for the Lady Toppers, boasting C-USA top-10 numbers in hitting percentage (.354), kills per set (3.46) and blocks (0.96). Charlotte’s Yumi Garcia became the second-fastest player in NCAA history to reach 1,000 career digs, doing so in just 49 matches in a 49er uniform. The libero bested her own school record this season with 663 digs (5.62/set) to lead the conference.

All-Conference USA First Team (12)
Yumi Garcia, Charlotte
Sigourney Kame, Florida Atlantic
Ivone Martinez, Florida Atlantic
Massiel Matos, Florida Atlantic
Valerie Valerian, North Texas
Karley York, North Texas
Nicole Lennon, Rice
Grace Morgan, Rice
Lee Ann Cunningham, Rice
Sarah Bell, Southern Miss
Kylie Grandy, Southern Miss
Rachel Anderson, WKU

All-Conference USA Second Team (16)
Reanna Richardson, Charlotte
Jocelyn Stoner, Charlotte
Tyra Galloway, Charlotte
Abbi Reid, Florida Atlantic
Margherita Bianchin, FIU
Ciara Debell, Marshall
Bailey Mason, Middle Tennessee
Barbara Teakell, North Texas
Jordyn Williams, North Texas
Anota Adekunle, Rice
Alexis Coombs, Southern Miss
Macey Austin, UTEP
Kara Teal, UTSA
Kirby Smith, UTSA
Amanda Gonzales, UTSA
Sophia Cerino, WKU

C-USA All-Freshman Team (8)
Tyra Galloway, Charlotte
Nya Steele, Charlotte
Abbie Hughes, FIU
Rhett Robinson, North Texas
Carly Graham, Rice
Anota Adekunle, Rice
Payton Frederick, WKU
Lauren Matthews, WKU

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