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Pinder and Craycraft Nab Top Conference Honors

November 17, 2010  Rock Hill, S.C.  RSS
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The Lady Flames pose with their Big South Champion trophy.

The Lady Flames pose with their Big South Champion trophy.

Five Lady Flames received conference accolades and Head Coach Shane Pinder was voted the 2010 Big South Coach of the Year, the league announced this evening. Liberty setter Jade Craycraft also received a top honor, as she was named the 2010 Big South Freshman of the Year.

Craycraft, a setter from Wooster, Ohio, becomes the first Lady Flame to earn the Freshman of the Year award since Nicki Scripko in 2007. She posted five 50-assist matches and four double-doubles on the year, as she helped her squad to the Big South regular-season championship.

Craycraft currently ranks No. 1 in the league with 1,180 total assists and is No. 3 in the conference with 10.17 assists per set. She started her collegiate career off with a bang, earning the season's first two Big South Freshman of the Week plaudits. Craycraft picked up five first-place votes to finish with 52 points in the voting.

Under Pinder's leadership, the Lady Flames went 14-2 to pick up their fourth-straight Big South regular-season championship. Liberty's 23 overall wins marked the fourth-straight season in which the Lady Flames have posted at least 20 wins, and the honor is Pinder's second Big South Coach of the Year award. He also earned the distinction in 2007.

Senior outside hitter Karyl Bacon, who earned preseason All-Big South honors this year, was named to the all-conference first team for the first time in her career. Sophomore middle blocker Loren Thomas, a Big South All-Freshman team selection in 2009, was named to the second team, along with junior libero Kelly Haseman and Craycraft. Bacon was also named to the Big South All-Academic Team.

Craycraft was the only freshman to make either the first or second team all-conference squads this year, and she becomes the first Big South freshman to do so since 2007.

Joining Craycraft on the 2010 Big South All-Freshman Team was outside hitter Lillie Happel, marking the first time Liberty has ever had two representatives on the all-freshman team in the same season.

The 2010 Big South Volleyball Championship presented by Musco Sports Lighting begins tomorrow and concludes on Saturday at the Winthrop Coliseum in Rock Hill, S.C. No. 1 seed Liberty will face No. 8 seed Gardner-Webb tomorrow at 5 p.m.

2010 Big South Conference Volleyball Award Winners

First Team All-Conference
Amanda Hill, Charleston Southern
Karyl Bacon, Liberty
Megan Smith, High Point
Chelsy Kimes, Coastal Carolina
Cindi Miller, UNC Asheville
Amanda Kettles, Presbyterian College
Julie Hershkowitz, High Point

Second Team All-Conference
Becca Toor, Winthrop
Stephanie Wallin, High Point
Kelsey Benorden, UNC Asheville
Loren Thomas, Liberty
Kaley Viola, Winthrop
Jade Craycraft, Liberty
Kelly Haseman, Liberty

All-Freshman Team
Jade Craycraft, Liberty

Maddie Simpson, High Point
Meghan Laffin, Coastal Carolina
Lillie Happel, Liberty
Andrea Barman, Presbyterian College
Alex Stewart, UNC Asheville
Tyler Cockrell, Gardner-Webb

All-Academic Team
Chelsy Kimes, Coastal Carolina
Karyl Bacon, Liberty
Cori Holeman, Charleston Southern
Evan Moffit, Gardner-Webb
Ashley Dunlap, Presbyterian College
Sara Felts, Winthrop
Julie Hershkowitz, High Point
Katelyn Meeks, Radford
Rachel Guinane, UNC Asheville

Player of the Year
Amanda Hill, Charleston Southern

Freshman of the Year
Jade Craycraft, Liberty

Coach of the Year
Shane Pinder, Liberty

Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Chelsy Kimes, Coastal Carolina