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Williams Named ASUN Fan-Voted Preseason Setter of the Year; Lady Flames Picked 3rd

January 13, 2021  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Williams Named ASUN Fan-Voted Preseason Setter of the Year; Lady Flames Picked 3rd

Liberty senior setter Amaya Williams has been named 2021 ASUN Fan-Voted Preseason Setter of the Year. Liberty has been voted to finish third in the ASUN Preseason Volleyball Poll, released Wednesday by the league office. The poll was voted on by all nine of the conference's head coaches.

This marks the second straight year that a Liberty player has received ASUN Fan-Voted Preseason Setter of the Year honors, as Hannah Morris earned the fan vote in 2019.

A native of Raleigh, N.C., Williams is the Lady Flames' active leader with 1,280 career assists. She was a member of the 2017 Big South All-Freshman team, when she became the first Liberty freshman since 2010 to lead the Lady Flames in assists (746 assists). She has posted nine career 40-assist matches and three career 50-assist contests.

This is the Lady Flames' highest preseason ranking since being picked third in the 2017 Big South Conference Preseason Poll.

Defending ASUN regular-season champion Florida Gulf Coast was voted the preseason favorite by the head coaches, with 75 total points and seven first-place votes. Kennesaw State, the 2019 ASUN tournament champion, was picked second with 65 points and one first-place vote. Liberty (56) edged out Lipscomb (55) by one point for third place, while Stetson received 45 points and one first-place vote.

North Florida (48), Jacksonville (28), ASUN newcomer Bellarmine (22) and North Alabama (21) took the final four spots in the preseason poll.

Liberty made great strides during the 2019 season, finishing 21-12 with an 11-5 ASUN record and a third-place finish in the conference standings. The Lady Flames made their first postseason appearance since 2012, competing in the Postseason NIVC, where the Lady Flames claimed two wins and qualified for the quarterfinals. The 2019 Lady Flames also posted victories over 2018 NCAA Tournament teams Northern Arizona and FGCU.

Liberty begins its 2021 schedule on Jan. 22, hosting VCU in the first volleyball match in Liberty Arena history. The Lady Flames will also play host to Old Dominion on Jan. 29. The team opens conference play at home against Lipscomb on Feb. 6-7.

2021 ASUN Conference Preseason Spring Volleyball Poll
Team (First-place votes) – Points
1. FGCU (7) 75
2. Kennesaw State (1) 65
3. Liberty 56
4. Lipscomb 55
5. Stetson (1) 45
6. North Florida 48
7. Jacksonville 28
8. Bellarmine 22
9. North Alabama 21

2021 Spring Preseason All-ASUN Team
Cortney VanLiew, FGCU, Sr., OH*
Lauren Chastang, Kennesaw State, Sr., OH*
Dana Axner, FGCU, Jr., L
Chelsey Lockey, FGCU, Jr., S
Erin Somaker, FGCU, So., OH
Megan Kuper, Lipscomb, Sr., OH
Solimar Cestero, North Florida, Jr., OH

* Denotes unanimous selection to preseason team

Preseason Player of the Year: Cortney VanLiew, FGCU
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Dana Axner, FGCU
Preseason Setter of the Year: Chelsey Lockey, FGCU

Fan-Voted Preseason Player of the Year: Solimar Cestero, North Florida
Fan-Voted Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Addyson Lewis, Jacksonville
Fan-Voted Preseason Setter of the Year: Amaya Williams, Liberty