Liberty Athletics celebrated another highly successful year of academics, athletics and community service at the fourth annual FLAMESPY Award show on Monday evening.
After the show, Liberty Flames Sports Network's Nick Pierce had a chance to catch up with some of the evening's award winners, including Liberty women's basketball redshirt junior forward/center Ashley Rininger, who took home Best Female Athlete of the Year honors.
Rininger became the third women's basketball player in four years to take home the Female Athlete of the Year trophy, following Avery Warley in 2012 and Devon Brown in 2013.
Rininger was voted MVP of the 2015 VisitMyrtleBeach.com Big South Women's Basketball Championship after leading the Lady Flames to their 16th conference title. Additionally, she was a first team All-Big South performer for the second straight year and made a pair of all-state teams, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch (first team) and VaSID (second team) squads.
Off the court, Rininger was tabbed a 2015 Capital One Academic All-America first team selection and repeated as Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year for women's basketball. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice in May 2014, maintaining a 4.0 GPA throughout her undergraduate studies. Rininger also boasts a 4.0 graduate GPA and is on track to complete her master's degree in human services counseling (focus in crisis response and trauma) in May.
Rininger paced the Lady Flames in scoring (12.8 ppg), rebounds (8.9 rpg), blocked shots (1.6 bpg), field goal percentage (.518) and double-doubles (14). On Feb. 21, she became the 15th Lady Flame ever to eclipse the 1,000-point milestone for her career.
Rininger helped the Lady Flames finish with a 26-7 overall record and a 19-1 mark in Big South Conference play. Liberty swept the Big South regular-season and tournament titles, qualifying for its 16th NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship appearance.
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