Liberty sophomore middle blocker Anna Gragg was named to the VaSID University Division Volleyball All-State first team, while sophomore outside hitter Casey Goodwin was voted to the second team, as announced on Tuesday.
Nomination and voting for the team is conducted by the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID). The all-state team honors the best Division I volleyball players in the Commonwealth of Virginia. A total of seven schools were represented on the all-state team this year.
The Lady Flames have now been represented on the VaSID All-State team each of the last 12 seasons. Liberty has placed a player on the first team in 10 of the last 11 years.
Last month, Gragg was named to the Big South All-Conference first team, while Goodwin earned second-team all-conference honors. Both players have received their first all-state honor this season.
A native of Missoula, Mont., Gragg is a two-time all-conference selection. Gragg had a dominant year at the middle blocker position, ranking second in the Big South in hitting percentage (.315) and fourth in blocks per set (0.93). During conference play, she hit .352 while posting 11 double-digit kill matches. On Nov. 3 at Presbyterian, she scored a career-high 26 kills at a .524 pace. Her 26 kills at PC were the most by any Big South middle blocker this season, and the most by a Liberty middle blocker during the rally scoring era.
Hailing from Rougemont, N.C., Goodwin had a major impact on Liberty's offensive attack this season. She led the team with 311 kills, hitting .233 overall. During conference play, she ranked seventh in the Big South with 3.36 kills per set and eighth with 3.75 points per set. She posted 17 double-digit kill matches this season, including 11 in conference play. Goodwin sent down a career-high 23 kills at a .442 clip at UNC Asheville. In the final 12 matches since switching positions from right-side to outside hitter, she averaged 3.66 kills per set, hitting .253.
Maddie Palmer of Radford, two-time Big South Player of the Year and a 2017 AVCA All-Southeast Region honorable mention selection, was named State Player of the Year. Virginia Tech outside hitter Kaity Smith was voted State Rookie of the Year after earning ACC All-Freshman honors. VCU Head Coach Jody Rogers received State Coach of the Year mention, guiding the Rams to a 30-3 record, perfect 14-0 CAA mark and 27-match winning streak entering the NCAA Volleyball Championship.
2017 VaSID University Division All-State Volleyball Team Player of the Year – Maddie Palmer, Radford Rookie of the Year – Kaity Smith, Virginia Tech Coach of the Year – Jody Rogers, VCU
All-State First Team Tori Baldwin, VCU Anna Gragg, Liberty Alica Kandler, VCU Maddie Palmer, Radford (Player of the Year) Bryn Recker, James Madison Jaila Tolbert, Virginia Tech M'Kaela White, James Madison Rebekah Strange, VCU (Libero/Defensive Specialist)
All-State Second Team Sydney Biniak, William & Mary Vicky Giommarini, VCU Casey Goodwin, Liberty Haley Kleespies, Radford Sarah Martin, James Madison Reeana Richardson, Hampton Jasmin Sneed, VCU Taylor Austin, James Madison (Libero/Defensive Specialist)
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