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Liberty Volleyball Earns 4 ASUN Postseason Honors

April 9, 2021  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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L-R: Trinity Watts, Lydia Burts and Aspen Thompson all received ASUN end-of-year honors.

L-R: Trinity Watts, Lydia Burts and Aspen Thompson all received ASUN end-of-year honors.

ASUN Release

Liberty freshman Lydia Burts was named to the ASUN All-Conference second team, highlighting four postseason ASUN honors for the Lady Flames.

Burts, a freshman middle blocker, earned ASUN All-Conference second team honors and joined teammate Trinity Watts on the ASUN All-Freshman Team. Junior middle blocker Aspen Thompson was voted to the ASUN All-Academic Team.

Burts is the first Liberty freshman since 2016 (Leah Clayton, Anna Gragg) to earn all-conference honors. This is the 15th straight season that Liberty has been represented by at least one middle blocker on the all-conference team. This is also the first time since 2016 (Clayton, Gragg) that Liberty has had multiple all-freshman team members. 

A native of Anderson, S.C., Burts had a major impact at the net as a freshman. She finished the season ranked seventh nationally with 1.57 blocks per set, helping Liberty to a 13th-place finish nationally with 2.74 team blocks per set. Her 1.57 blocks per set eclipsed the ASUN single-season record of 1.55, set by Jacksonville's Melissa Merchant in 2007. Burts also hit a team-best .299 for the season and posted two double-digit kill matches. She scored a career-high 13 kills against North Alabama on March 19 and totaled a career-high eight blocks against Kennesaw State on Feb. 19. She recorded five or more blocks eight times, all against ASUN opponents.

Hailing from Houston, Texas, Watts showed her versatility as a freshman, starting at both outside and right-side hitter positions. She led the team with 2.91 kills per set, the first freshman to lead Liberty in kills since Leah Clayton in 2016. Watts finished the season ranked ninth in the ASUN in kills per set both overall (2.91) and in conference play (3.00). She was named ASUN Freshman of the Week on March 23, averaging 4.67 kills, 0.83 aces and 3.67 digs per set in the team's final regular-season series. Watts reached double-figures in kills in nine out of Liberty's 12 ASUN matches, including a career-high 16 kills against North Alabama on March 20.

Thompson, a San Antonio, Texas, native, holds a 4.0 GPA as a pre-clinical public health major. Additionally, she is the volleyball team's representative on Liberty's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She is a two-time member of the ASUN Honor Roll. This season, Thompson appeared in 12 matches, averaging 1.36 kills, 1.96 digs, 0.29 aces and 0.75 blocks per set. Thompson posted three straight double-digit dig matches to close out the regular season, and totaled a career-high five blocks in the ASUN quarterfinal match at Kennesaw State.

The Lady Flames finished the spring season with a 5-9 record, including 5-7 in ASUN play. Liberty posted five sweeps on the season and led the conference in blocking. The team finished third in the ASUN North Division standings.

2021 ASUN Conference Volleyball Award Winners
First Team All-Conference
Erin Shomaker, OH, So., FGCU
Lauren Chastang, OH, Sr., Kennesaw State
Samantha Rubal, MB, Sr., Lipscomb
Chelsey Lockey – S, Jr., FGCU
Cortney VanLiew – OH, Sr. FGCU
Megan Kuper – OH, Sr., Lipscomb
Rocio Moro – Libero, So., North Florida

Second Team All-Conference
Dana Axner – Libero, Jr., FGCU
Emma Schurfranz – So., RS, Kennesaw State
Lydia Burts – Fr., MB, Liberty
Delaney Dilfer – Fr., S, Lipscomb
Meg Mersman – Fr., MB, Lipscomb
Gabby O'Connell – Sr., OH, North Florida
Elena Djokovic – So., OH, Stetson

All-Freshman Team
Delaney Dilfer – S, Lipscomb
Juliana Lentz – MB, FGCU
Lydia Burts – MB, Liberty
Claire Parsons – MB, Kennesaw State
Trinity Watts – OH, Liberty
Meg Mersman – MB, Lipscomb
Kamryn Bacus – OH, Lipscomb

All-Academic Team
Gabby O'Connell – Sr., North Florida
Dana Axner – Jr., FGCU
Chelsey Lockey – Jr., FGCU
Cortney VanLiew – Sr., FGCU
Katie Crocker – Jr., Kennesaw State
Aspen Thompson – Jr., Liberty
Samantha Rubal – Sr., Lipscomb

Player of the Year
Erin Shomaker – OH, So., FGCU

Defensive Player of the Year
Rocio Moro – L, So., North Florida

Setter of the Year
Chelsey Lockey – Jr., FGCU

Freshman of the Year
Delaney Dilfer – S, Lipscomb

Coach of the Year
Brandon Rosenthal - Lipscomb

Scholar Athlete of the Year
Gabby O'Connell, OH, Sr., North Florida