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5 Lady Flames Receive ASUN Volleyball Awards

November 14, 2018  Kennesaw, Ga.  RSS
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5 Lady Flames Receive ASUN Volleyball Awards

Official ASUN Release

The Liberty volleyball team received five ASUN Conference postseason awards, as announced today by the conference office.

Junior right-side hitter Casey Goodwin was named to the ASUN All-Conference first team, while junior middle blockers Anna Gragg and Kainah Williams were tabbed to the second team. Freshman outside hitter Lilly Kruse was voted to the All-Freshman team, while junior setter Hannah Morris received All-Academic team mention.    

 This is the 13th season in a row in which Liberty has received at least one first team all-conference mention. Gragg is the first Liberty player to be named all-conference during each of her first three seasons since Jade Craycraft (2010-12), while Goodwin earned her second straight all-conference award. This is the second time in the last three seasons that Liberty has put two middle blockers on the all-conference team.

Hailing from Rougemont, N.C., Goodwin is one of the most dynamic players in the conference. During conference play, she is the only player to rank in the top 10 in the ASUN in kills per set (4th – 3.65), aces per set (2nd – 0.44) and blocks per set (8th – 0.96). She ranked second in the ASUN with 4.6 points per set in league matches. Goodwin has recorded 12 double-digit kill matches, including 10 in conference play. She sent down a career-high 25 kills against North Florida and hit .684 with 13 kills at Jacksonville.

A native of Missoula, Mont., Gragg has been a force at the net this season. Gragg ranks second in the ASUN in hitting percentage both overall (.361) and in conference play (.435). She finished the regular season ranked 10th overall in the conference with 0.92 blocks per set. Seven out of her 10 double-digit kill matches came in league matches this season. She scored a season-high 13 kills at a .619 pace against North Florida. The junior has recorded five or more blocks in a match eight times this year.

A Spring Branch, Texas, native, Williams has enjoyed a breakthrough season this year. In conference play, she ranks third in the ASUN in both hitting percentage (.370) and blocks per set (1.27). She is ranked fourth conference-wide in overall hitting percentage (.349) and blocks per set (1.11). Williams has registered five or more blocks in a single match six times this year. Her career-high 10 blocks against Jacksonville were the most by a Lady Flame in a three-set match in the program's rally-scoring history.      She scored a career-high 14 kills (.619) against FGCU.

Kruse, hailing from Auburn, Ind., has been a strong contributor down the stretch as a freshman. She has started each of the last six matches, averaging 2.89 kills per set while hitting .243 during that stretch. The freshman outside hitter scored 10 or more kills in two out of the last three matches, including a career-high 17 kills at Lipscomb. Kruse is also a threat from the service line, ranking 10th in the conference with 0.29 aces per set in ASUN play. She has twice served up three aces in a match.

Morris, a native of Lynchburg, Va., carries a 3.96 GPA as an exercise science major. She has been one of the top setters in the ASUN this season, ranking third with 9.38 assists per set in conference play and fourth overall with 8.44 assists per set. Morris has led the Lady Flames in assists in every match but one this year, distributing for an offense that is third in the ASUN with a .264 hitting percentage in league matches. She has recorded four 40-assist matches, including a career-high 52 assists at NJIT.

Regular-season champion FGCU won five out of the six major awards, with Cortney VanLiew (Player of the Year), Dana Axner (Freshman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year), Maggie Rick (Scholar-Athlete of the Year) and Matt Botsford (Coach of the Year) helping lead the Eagles to a 15-1 conference record. Kennesaw State's Lexi Broadwater was named ASUN Setter of the Year.

No. 4 seed Liberty (14-16, 10-6 ASUN) will face fifth-seeded Stetson (16-12, 8-8), tomorrow at 5 p.m. to begin the 2018 ASUN Volleyball Championship at the Convocation Center in Kennesaw, Ga. The winner of Thursday's quarterfinal will face No. 1 seed FGCU, Friday at 5 p.m. in the semifinal round.

2018 ASUN Conference Volleyball Award Winners
First Team All-Conference

Cortney VanLiew – OH, So. FGCU
Carlyle Nusbaum – OH, Sr., Lipscomb
Sharonda Pickering – MB, Sr., FGCU
Dana Axner – Libero, Fr., FGCU
Lauren Chastang, OH, So., Kennesaw State
Lexi Broadwater, S, Jr., Kennesaw State
Casey Goodwin – RS, Jr., Liberty

Second Team All-Conference
Maggie Rick – S, Sr., FGCU
Dani Serrano – MB, Jr., FGCU
Liesl Engelbrecht – MB, Sr. Kennesaw State
Anna Gragg – MB, Jr., Liberty
Kainah Williams – MB, Jr., Liberty

Adriana Nieto – Libero, Sr., NJIT
Hao Jin, MB, Sr., Stetson

All-Freshman Team
Dana Axner – Libero, FGCU
Chelsey Lockey – S, FGCU
Tori Morris – MB, FGCU
Dani Ballou – OH, Kennesaw State
Logan Gish – OH, Lipscomb
Solimar Cestero – OH, North Florida
Lilly Kruse – OH, Liberty

All-Academic Team
Maggie Rick – S, Sr., FGCU
Cortney VanLiew – OH, So., FGCU
Sara Dyslin – MB, Gr., Jacksonville
Natalie Wehner – OH, Jr., Jacksonville
Liesl Engelbrecht – MB, Sr., Kennesaw State
Hannah Morris – S, Jr., Liberty
Morgan Elmore – S, Jr., Lipscomb

Player of the Year
Cortney VanLiew – OH, So., FGCU

Defensive Player of the Year
Dana Axner – Libero, Fr., FGCU

Setter of the Year
Lexi Broadwater – Jr., Kennesaw State

Freshman of the Year
Dana Axner – Libero, Fr., FGCU

Coach of the Year
Matt Botsford - FGCU

Scholar Athlete of the Year
Maggie Rick, - S, Sr., FGCU