Liberty redshirt junior outside hitter Amelia Johnson was named ASUN Volleyball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, highlighting six postseason ASUN honors for the Lady Flames.
Johnson and senior middle blocker Anna Gragg were both named to the ASUN All-Conference first team, while senior right-side hitter Casey Goodwin was tabbed to the second team. Johnson was joined on the All-Academic Team by senior setter Hannah Morris, who received All-Academic Team mention for the second year in a row.
This is the first time since 2015 (Caroline Douglas, Jade Vorster) that Liberty has had two first team all-conference selections in the same year. Gragg is the fourth Liberty volleyball player all-time to be named all-conference four times, joining Anthonia Akpama (1996-99), Kallie Corbin (2006-09) and Jade Craycraft (2010-13). Goodwin became the ninth player in program history with three straight all-conference selections.
Johnson is the first Liberty player since Becca Haraf in 2012 (Big South) to be named a conference scholar-athlete of the year and is the fourth scholar-athlete of the year in program history.
A native of Missoula, Mont., Gragg has had her best year yet. Gragg ranks 34th nationally in hitting percentage (.384). She is ranked second in the ASUN in hitting percentage and fourth in blocks per set (1.09). The senior has posted eight double-digit kill matches this season, including a season-high 21 kills against Northern Arizona on Sept. 21. She has recorded five or more blocks in a match 10 times, including a career-high-tying nine blocks at Kennesaw State on Oct. 18. Gragg tied her career high with a .619 hitting percentage against Stetson on Oct. 13.
A Roseau, Minn., native, Johnson has had a breakthrough season this year. She is in the top 50 nationally with an ASUN-leading 406 kills. During conference play, she led the ASUN with 4.20 kills per set. She posted two 29-kill matches in league play, the first Lady Flame in rally-scoring history to score 29 or more kills twice in a career. Johnson has posted 23 double-digit kill matches (13 in ASUN play) and a team-high-tying eight double-doubles (four in ASUN). She is the first Liberty player since Caroline Douglas (2014) to score 400 or more kills in a season.
Johnson carried a 4.0 GPA as an interdisciplinary studies major and is currently pursuing a master's degree in public health.
Hailing from Rougemont, N.C., Goodwin continues to be a dominant right-side attacker in the ASUN. During conference play, she led all ASUN non-middle blockers with 0.86 blocks per set. Goodwin has registered 16 double-digit kill matches, including five straight 10-kill contests to end the regular-season schedule. She topped 20 kills twice, including a 20-kill effort on Senior Day against Kennesaw State. The senior averaged 5.18 kills per set at a .396 pace during the final three matches of the regular season. Goodwin is the first Liberty player in rally-scoring history with at least one 20-kill match all four seasons.
Morris, a native of Lynchburg, Va., carried a 3.96 GPA as an exercise science major. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in business executive leadership. Morris ranked sixth in the ASUN with 8.55 assists per set in conference play. Her 61 assists against Stetson on Oct. 13 were the most by any player in the Vines Center under the current 25-point scoring system. The senior distributes for a team that hit .246 in ASUN matches. She dished out 11.61 assists per set during the final five matches of the regular season.
Regular-season champion FGCU won four out of the six major awards, with Cortney VanLiew (Player of the Year), Dana Axner (Defensive Player of the Year) and Matt Botsford (Coach of the Year) repeating as major award winners and Erin Shomaker being named Freshman of the Year. Kennesaw State's Lexi Broadwater was named ASUN Setter of the Year for the second year in a row, while Amelia Johnson of Liberty was named ASUN Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
The Lady Flames (18-10, 11-5 ASUN) will face sixth seeded North Florida (15-17, 7-9) in Thursday's second ASUN Volleyball Championship quarterfinal match at 7:30 p.m. at FGCU's Alico Arena. The winner of that match will take on No. 2 seed Kennesaw State (20-8, 13-3) on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
2019 ASUN Conference Volleyball Award Winners First Team All-Conference Cortney VanLiew – OH, Jr. FGCU Dana Axner – Libero, So., FGCU Lauren Chastang, OH, Jr., Kennesaw State Lexi Broadwater, S, Sr., Kennesaw State Quin Sutphin, MB, Jr., Kennesaw State Anna Gragg – MB, Sr., Liberty Amelia Johnson – OH, R-Jr., Liberty
Second Team All-Conference Snowy Burnam – OH, Jr., FGCU Daniele Serrano – MB, Sr., FGCU Chelsey Lockey – S, So., FGCU Karlee Groover – Libero, Jr., Kennesaw State Casey Goodwin – RS, Sr., Liberty Megan Kuper – OH, Jr., Lipscomb Solimar Cestero – OH, So., North Florida
All-Freshman Team Erin Shomaker – OH, FGCU Sydney Bolding – MB, Jacksonville Elena Djokovic – OH, Stetson Emma Schurfranz – RS, Kennesaw State Julianna Askew – S, North Florida Rocio Moro – DS, North Florida Kaylee Oscarson – MB, Stetson
All-Academic Team Amelia Johnson – R-Jr., Liberty Cortney VanLiew – Jr., FGCU Morgan Elmore – Sr., Lipscomb Natalie Wehner – Sr., Jacksonville Karlee Groover – Jr. Kennesaw State Hannah Morris – Sr., Liberty Olivia Welsch – Sr., NJIT
Player of the Year Cortney VanLiew – OH, Jr., FGCU
Defensive Player of the Year Dana Axner – Libero, So., FGCU
Setter of the Year Lexi Broadwater – Sr., Kennesaw State
Freshman of the Year Erin Shomaker – OH, Fr., FGCU
Coach of the Year Matt Botsford - FGCU
Scholar Athlete of the Year Amelia Johnson – OH, R-Jr., Liberty
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