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
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