Courtesy: Atlantic Sun Conference
LakePoint, Ga. – Stetson and FGCU take home this year’s ASUN Conference Beach Volleyball Postseason Awards. Stetson’s Darby Dunn & Sammee Thomas earned ASUN Pair of the Year, while head coach Kristina Hernandez snagged her second straight ASUN Coach of the Year honor. FGCU’s Snowy Burnam captured the ASUN Freshman of the Year honor.
Dunn and Thomas cap off their dominant season with an exclamation point, as they earn the fourth straight Pair of the Year honor for Stetson. The sophomore duo went 10-0 in ASUN play this season, becoming the only pair in the league to do so. In ASUN play, Dunn and Thomas dropped just one set, winning 20 of 21 sets. Overall, they finished the 2018 regular season with a 29-5 record. Dunn and Thomas had notable wins over one seeds from No. 8 South Carolina, No. 10 LSU, No. 12 Georgia State and No. 20 FAU.
Burnam becomes the first player in the league history to win ASUN Freshman of the Year in both Volleyball and Beach Volleyball. Burnam is also the first player in FGCU history to win Beach Volleyball Freshman of the Year. Playing alongside fellow All-Freshman team member, Kayla Whetstone, Burnam has compiled a record of 14-8, breaking the program record for wins from the No. 4 pair. Those 14 wins are also just one shy of the FGCU freshman record. Burnam helped FGCU knock off No. 15 FAU on March 10
After leading the Hatters to their fourth-straight ASUN crown, Hernandez wins her second-consecutive Coach of the Year award. Hernandez currently has the Hatters on a 23-game ASUN win streak. The Hatters’ 27 wins rank third-most in the nation. Stetson will be the No. 1 seed in this weekend’s ASUN Championship.
Joining Dunn and Thomas on the All-Conference team is the pair of Sunniva Hellend-Hansen and Carly Perales. At 29-6 overall, they were tied with Dunn/Thomas for most overall dual wins in the ASUN. This season they are 11-4 at the 1 seed and 18-2 at the 2 seed. Hellend-Hansen/Perales posted seven non-conference wins against ranked opponents. Some of their notable win include triumphs over No. 12 Georgia State, No. 18 Tulane, No. 4 Florida State twice, No. 14 California and No. 15 Arizona.
Karissa Rhoades and Katie Puisis represent FGCU on the All-Conference squad. Rhoades/Puisis set a school record for wins this season with 16. Over the last two seasons, Rhoades/Puisis have won a combined 31 games together. In ASUN play, they went 8-2 and led FGCU to a 7-3 record in conference play, the program’s best ever finish. This is Rhoades/Puisis second-straight appearance on the All-Conference team.
North Florida boasts two pairs on this year’s All-Conference team in Taryn Griffey/Chaney Howard and Courtney Miller/Carina Hoff. Griffey/Howard, the Ospreys No. 2 pair, owns a team best 16 wins on the season highlighted by a pair of top-20 wins. Griffey/Howard went 6-4 in league play with four straight-set victories on the season. Miller/Hoff, the top pair for UNF, sits with a 13-11 record on the season. On April 7th, in a match against Coastal Carolina Miller set the UNF wins record with her 57th career win. The pair is 7-3 in ASUN play and owns 10 straight set victories.
Pair of the Year: Darby Dunn/Sammee Thomas, Stetson
Freshman of the Year: Snowy Burnam, FGCU
Coach of the Year: Kristina Hernandez, Stetson
Beach Volleyball All-Conference Team
– *#Darby Dunn/Sammee Thomas, Stetson
– *#Karissa Rhoades/#Katie Puisis, FGCU
– Taryn Griffey/Chaney Howard, North Florida
– ^Courtney Miller/Carina Hoff, North Florida
– *Sunniva Hellend-Hansen/Carly Perales, Stetson
Beach Volleyball All-Freshman Team
– Snowy Burnam, FGCU
– *Kayla Whetstone, FGCU
– *Rebecca Ingram, Stetson
– Casey Justice, North Florida
– Quinci Birker, Stetson
* – Denotes unanimous decision
# – Denotes two-time selection
^ – Denotes three-time selection