Tuesday, November 19, 2013
MACON, Ga. – Lipscomb junior middle blocker Jewell Dobson highlights the Atlantic Sun Conference Volleyball regular season awards as the 2013 Player of the Year, the conference office announced on Tuesday.
Dobson leads the A-Sun in kills per set (4.66), is also currently eighth in the nation in the category and has ranked among the nation's top 10 for most of the season. With 457 kills in 2013, she totals 1073 for her career and this year became one of six in the Lipscomb program in the NCAA area to surpass that level and the seventh overall. Dobson also leads the A-Sun in points per set (5.32) and has also consistently appeared in this top 10 nationally.
A 2013 Preseason All-Conference selection, Dobson is a two-time A-Sun Player of the Week in 2013 (9/9, 10/17), earned a Tennessee Sports Writers Association Player of the Week honor (10/18) and was selected as Most Valuable Player of the Lipscomb Invitational Tournament. She is also ranked 34th nationally and second in the A-Sun in hitting percentage (.386). Dobson set her career high this season with 27 kills vs. ETSU (10/5) and six times she has recorded 20 or more kills, along with tallying double figures in kills in 27 matches.
Joining Dobson on the A-Sun All-Conference First-Team were ETSU's Megan Devine and Meredith Hardy, Jacksonville's Sammie Strausbaugh, and Lauren Ford, Caitlin Dotson and Bri McCombs from Lipscomb.
ETSU's Meredith Hardy leads all A-Sun players in blocks per set (1.53), and broke the all-time A-Sun blocks career record after tallying eight blocks in a three-set win vs. Kennesaw State on Oct. 29. She currently has 468 total blocks, has recorded at least one block in 92 consecutive matches and ranks 16th nationally in blocks per set and 70th in attack percentage.
Lipscomb's Caitlin Dotson is first in the nation in assists per set this season. The A-Sun Player of the Week on Oct. 21, Dotson was also a Preseason All-Conference selection and the second player in program history to make more than 3,000 assists in a career. She is tied for second in the program in assists in a season and owns the Lipscomb season program record for assists per set.
Lauren Ford is one of six players in Lipscomb NCAA history to break 1,000 kills barrier, and the seventh overall. A Preseason All-Conference selection, Ford is third in the conference overall in kills per set and fourth in A-Sun matches only. She also ranks ninth in A-Sun matches only in hitting percentage and is third among active career leaders in kills in the A-Sun.
Jacksonville’s Michelle Collier is the A-Sun Coach of the Year after leading the Dolphins to a share of the regular season title and their first ever No. 1 seed in the #ASunVB Championship. Collier has led JU to a 27-3 overall mark and 16-2 mark in A-Sun play and the team enters the championship as their highest since they were a No. 2 seed since 1999. The 2013 Dolphins team is the first since joining the A-Sun in 1998 to win 16 or more matches and claim at least a share of the regular season title. The Dolphins are currently riding a seven-match win streak, have won nine of their last 10 and finished a perfect 13-0 at home in 2013.
Lipscomb's Bri McCombs had a solid season to claim the Libero of the Year honor, as in conference play she is the A-Sun leader in digs per set, averaging 4.62. Along with leading the Lady Bisons in digs per set, McCombs' overall digs total (421) is fifth highest for a season in history of the program and her digs per set (4.34) is fourth highest at Lipscomb program for a season. McCombs tallied eight matches with 20 or more digs this season along with recording double figures in digs 23 times. McCombs was also the A-Sun Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 30.
Kennesaw State's Kelly Marcinek earned the Freshman of the Year honor as she became consistently one of the top hitters in the A-Sun this season. She recorded 378 kills and a .220 attack percentage and led all conference freshmen in kills per set. She enjoyed a stretch of 10 games with 10 or more kills and earned A-Sun weekly honors four times, three times as Freshman of the Week and once as Player of the Week. Marcinek also began her career by earning 24 kills, the second most in school history, during her first collegiate match.
Jacksonville's Sammie Strausbaugh and ETSU's Megan Devine joined Dobson as unanimous selections to the All-Atlantic Sun First-Team. Last year's Freshman of the Year, Strausbaugh returned in 2013 to lead the A-Sun in service aces per set (.36) and is also seventh in the conference kills per set (3.44). With 361 kills and 38 service aces, she also leads the No. 1 seeded Dolphins in kills per set, service aces per set and digs per set (2.90). The 2012 Player of the Year, Devine became the A-Sun career leader in kills in 2013 and currently enters the championship with 1,925. She is ranked second among career leaders in the NCAA as well in the caterogy and is second in the A-Sun this season in kills per set (4.56).
The 2013 Atlantic Sun Volleyball Championship will be played Nov. 21-23, 2013, hosted by Kennesaw State at the KSU Convocation Center in Kennesaw, Ga. First-round play is scheduled for 5 p.m. (ET) and 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 21 and the entire championship can be viewed on ESPN3 and via the WatchESPN app. Friday’s games also begin at 5 and 7:30 p.m. (ET) and Saturday’s final at 3 p.m. (ET)
The Atlantic Sun Conference is an NCAA Division I league with 10 member institutions committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun meets the challenge of maintaining the highest standards in academic and athletic achievement with a true balance between student and athlete. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun boasts six of the top eight media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, Northern Kentucky University, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.