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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Nov. 18, 2014) – Senior Katie Muey (Alexandria, Ind.) was named Southern Conference Libero of the Year and the ETSU volleyball team had three Buccaneers land all-conference honors as the league office announced its postseason awards on Tuesday.
Joining Muey on the SoCon First Team was fellow senior Meredith Hardy (Kingsport, Tenn.), while Rylee Milhorn (Kingsport, Tenn.) was placed on the All-Freshman Team.
Muey, who leads the conference in digs per set (5.34) and ranks second nationally in total digs (667), became ETSU's career digs leader this season. The Buccaneer libero has registered 1,829 career digs, which ranks 16th among active NCAA Division I players, while her 507 career sets played are the most by any active player. The Alexandria, Ind. native set a career-high with 40 digs at Western Carolina, while her 667 digs this year are the second-most by a Buccaneer in single-season history. Muey also broke ETSU's single-match record for digs in a three-setter following her 33-dig effort in the win over Lehigh back in September. Muey also received four SoCon Defensive Player of the Week honors and was tabbed Defensive Player of the Month in October. In addition to her digs, Muey also ranks 28th nationally in service aces (42), while she also collected her first collegiate double-double in the four-set win versus Mercer (19 digs/10 assists).
“Katie is the heart of our defense and is very deserving of this award,” said head coach Lindsey Devine. “Throughout the year, she has continued to be the vital player that keeps our team in long rallies and she’s a tremendous asset to our program.”
While Muey was breaking digs records, Hardy was busy setting new block marks this season. Hardy broke ETSU's career blocks record in the four-set win at Chattanooga and currently has 617 career blocks. In September, Hardy also broke the program record for blocks in a three-set match after tying a career-high with 12 in the win over George Mason. Overall, Hardy – who received SoCon Defensive Player of the Week honors on Oct. 20 and was named Player of the Month in September – is the only active NCAA Division I player with over 1,300 kills and 600 blocks for a career. Hardy was one of two ETSU players to join the 1,000-kill club this season, while her 1,327 career kills are the fifth-most in Buccaneer history. Along with being one of 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award, Hardy was also one of two players in the SoCon to rank in the top 10 in three statistical categories. The Kingsport, Tenn. native ranks second in blocks (1.14), third in attack percentage (.329) and ninth in kills (3.04), while also placing 20th nationally in total blocks (143). Hardy also ranks second among active NCAA players in total career blocks.
“Meredith is a really special player. She gives the program 100-percent effort each time she’s on the court,” Devine said. “She’s an impact player that teams have to respect. Meredith has embraced the added responsibility I placed on her over the year and she’s an outstanding student-athlete.”
Milhorn was a key addition to the ETSU program this season as she played in 31 matches, totaling 216 kills, 253 digs, 52 blocks and 19 service aces for the Blue and Gold. The Buccaneer rookie registered a pair of double-doubles, as she posted 13 kills and 10 digs last month against Mercer and most recently finished with 12 kills and 15 digs last weekend at The Citadel. The Kingsport, Tenn. native also totaled a career-high five service aces in the win over the Bulldogs. Milhorn recorded double-digit kills eight times and double-digit digs 13 times. The freshman outside hitter tallied a career-high 20 kills against Maryland back in September and totaled a career-best 19 digs in the five-set win versus Chattanooga on Homecoming weekend.
“Rylee responded positively to being the lone freshman on our team, and she also had to carry a huge responsibility in our two-person serve reception,” said Devine. “Her presence on the court continues to evolve and I look forward to being part of her development as a player and person during her career at ETSU.”
Furman's Ashton Gregory was named Player of the Year, while Michelle Young was pegged Coach of the Year after guiding the Paladins to the SoCon regular season championship. UNCG's Ashley Muench received Freshman of the Year honors.
The Bucs begin their run for a SoCon championship on Saturday when ETSU faces Western Carolina. First serve is set for noon inside UNCG’s Fleming Gym.
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For more information on Buccaneer volleyball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the volleyball page.