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Bacon Named Big South Woman of the Year
The Big South Conference announced today that Liberty volleyball player Karyl Bacon has been named the Big South Conference's Woman of the Year for 2010-11. The conference's Woman of the Year award is sponsored by Big South corporate partner Musco Sports Lighting.
As the Big South Woman of the Year, Bacon is nominated as a candidate for the national NCAA Woman of the Year Award. The Temecula, Calif., native is the third Liberty student-athlete to receive the conference honor, joining Arlene Zelinskas (women's track & field) in 2006-07 and Allyson Fasnacht (women's basketball) in 2007-08.
A two-time all-conference honoree, including a first-team selection in 2010, Bacon was a four-year letterwinner for the Lady Flames and helped Liberty capture four consecutive regular-season titles during her career – including the outright crown her senior season. She is the first player in program history to be a part of four regular-season conference championships, and helped Liberty advance to the NCAA Tournament as a freshman and sophomore.
Bacon was named to the Big South's all-tournament team in 2008 and 2010 and she became the ninth player in Liberty history to join the 1,000-kill/1,000-dig club, ending her stellar career with 1,155 kills and 1,472 digs.
A three-time Big South Player of the Week selection in 2010, Bacon was third in the Big South this past season with 3.96 kills per set. She was named a Collegiate Volleyball Update (CVU) Stellar Spiker team honorable mention, as well as all-national third team by COBRA Magazine. She also earned first-team all-state honors from the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) following her senior season.
Liberty's team captain the past three seasons, Bacon graduated last month with a 3.63 grade-point average in kinesiology, and was voted to the ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District III second team last fall. Bacon has been named to the Big South Presidential Honor Roll each year at Liberty and has been a member of Liberty's Dean's List five times (Fall 2008, Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2010 and Fall 2010). In addition, she was named to the Big South Volleyball All-Academic team in 2010.
Bacon's service and leadership activities include three years on Liberty's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and volunteering at volleyball clinics with the Special Olympics the past two years. In addition, Bacon has volunteered as a coach and participant at various volleyball camps and clinics -- including three years at a special clinic for ages 50-plus where she taught the game to first-time players.
The NCAA also allows conferences to nominate a second candidate if one of the two student-athletes is a minority/international student. Radford softball player Chelsea Kelley, a finalist for the Big South Woman of the Year award, is also nominated by the conference for the NCAA award.
Also nominated for the 2011 Big South Woman of the Year were Charleston Southern basketball player Katie Tull, Gardner-Webb track & field athlete Carrie Long, High Point basketball player Mackenzie Maier, Liberty tennis player Jordan Jenkins, Presbyterian College softball player Brittany Howell, UNC Asheville track & field athlete Natalie Pearson, VMI track & field athlete Zipporah McCann and Winthrop volleyball player Kaley Viola.
"I am always amazed at the accomplishments of our Woman of the Year nominees, and this year is no different," said Big South Conference Commissioner Kyle B. Kallander. "These are outstanding young women that deserve this recognition and praise. They represent the highest ideals of collegiate athletics in the Big South."
The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics (CWA) will choose and announce the top 10 honorees in each division in August. From among those 30 candidates, the selection committee will determine the top three in each division in September. Finally, the members of the CWA will vote from among the top nine finalists to determine the 2011 NCAA Woman of the Year, which will be announced at the Woman of the Year Awards Dinner in Indianapolis on Oct. 16, 2011. The Big South had its first national finalist in 2005 when Winthrop's Janiva Willis was named one of the 10 finalists.