Devine named A-Sun Player of the Year; Hardy, Wiley land all-conference honors

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

MACON, Ga. (Nov. 13, 2012) – With the Atlantic Sun Volleyball Championship gearing up later this week in Nashville, the league office released their postseason awards on Tuesday afternoon and the ETSU Buccaneers had a lot to be happy about.

The Bucs saw three players land on the A-Sun postseason teams, including junior Megan Devine (Kingsport, Tenn.) receiving Player of the Year and unanimous First Team All-Atlantic Sun accolades. Joining Devine on the First Team was sophomore Meredith Hardy (Kingsport, Tenn.), while Khadijah Wiley (Columbus, Ga.) was voted to the All-Freshmen Team.

Devine – who was also named the Preseason Player of the Year in the A-Sun – becomes the first ETSU volleyball standout to receive Player of the Year honors since Carey Cavanaugh took home the SoCon award in 2001. The junior outside hitter started all 32 matches for the Blue and Gold in 2012 and compiled an A-Sun best 23 double-doubles, while also breaking three conference records. Devine broke A-Sun records in conference-only matches for double-doubles (15) and attack attempts (839), and set the single-season record for attack attempts (1,432). In addition, Devine led the league in kills per set (3.99), while ranking eighth in service aces per set (0.27) and 10th in digs per set (3.37). The Kingsport, Tenn. native registered double-digit kills in all but one of the 32 matches played and finished the regular season with 10 straight double-doubles. Devine generated 20-plus kills six times this year, while her 25-kill performance in the win over Akron tied the single-match high among conference players. The 2012 campaign was also a special one for Devine as she reached two historic milestones, joining the prestigious 1,000-kill/1,000-dig club at ETSU. Devine registered her 1,000th career kill in the four-set win against Marshall back in September and notched her 1,000th dig in the sweep over Stetson on Nov. 3. Meanwhile, Devine also recorded a 20/20 game in the victory over Mercer, as she tallied 21 kills and a career-best 26 digs over the Bears.

“Our entire team is so proud of Megan being named Player of the Year,” said head coach Lindsey Devine. “I have set the bar exceptionally high for Megan, and for her to receive this recognition from the Atlantic Sun coaches is a credit to her hard work all season. She is very lucky to be surrounded by such a great team who supports her, while together striving for success of the ETSU volleyball program.”

After receiving All-Freshmen Team honors a year ago, Hardy continued to dominate on the court as she led the A-Sun in blocks per set and ranks 15th nationally (1.45) in the statistical category. Hardy was a blocking machine in 2012 as she set new A-Sun records for blocks in a season (180) and blocks in conference only matches (113), while her 12-block effort at Stetson tied the league record for most blocks in a conference match. Not only was Hardy etching her name into the A-Sun record books, but she also made her mark in the ETSU books as well. Hardy – who finished with a 10-kill, 10-block effort in the sweep at Presbyterian – tied the Buccaneer record for total blocks and block assists (7) in a three-set match. In total, the middle blocker provided the Blue and Gold with three double-doubles on the season after accomplishing the feat against North Florida (12 kills/10 blocks) and Jacksonville (13 kills and 11 blocks) as well. In total, Hardy has posted at least one block in 58 straight games for the Bucs and has one block in all but one of her 61 career matches. Along with the impressive blocking numbers, Hardy also ranked fifth with a .309 attack percentage in 18 conference matches and tallied double-digit kills in 19 of the 32 matches played. Hardy set a career high with 25 kills in the five-set win at Northern Kentucky back in Oct., and followed that up with a 20-kill, 9-block (career high four solo blocks) performance in the win over FGCU, snapping the Eagles’ 15-match winning streak. In the end, Hardy received her first career A-Sun Player of the Week honor after her play against FGCU and Stetson, as the Buccaneer sophomore averaged 4.12 kills and 2.12 blocks against the two conference foes.   

“This is a well-deserving honor for Meredith to be named to the first team,” Devine said. “The strength she provides to our front line with her blocks and kills is so valuable to our team. She gives this team 100-percent effort every time she steps out on the court.”

Meanwhile, Wiley played in all but five of ETSU’s 32 matches during her rookie campaign and led the Bucs with a .333 (112-35-231) attack percentage in conference play. Wiley ranked third in the A-Sun in blocks per set (1.02) and fourth in blocks per set in A-Sun only matches (1.00) – topping all A-Sun freshmen in both marks. The Buccaneer middle blocker had a career match in the five-set win over Northern Kentucky on Oct. 5 inside Brooks Gym, as Wiley registered 18 kills on a .696 attack percentage – marking the highest attack percentage with a minimum of 20 attempts in ETSU history. Also, the .696 clip was the highest among all A-Sun players in a five-set match, while ranking the third highest all season overall. The native from Columbus, Ga., recorded at least one block in each of her 27 matches on the year – including a season-best 8-block game at South Carolina. The eight blocks against the Gamecocks tied for the fourth highest total in the conference during the year, while also hitting .571 (9-1-14) in the five-set match at South Carolina. Wiley totaled three games with two solo blocks and finished with at least five blocks eight times.

“I am glad to see Khadijah named to the All-Freshmen Team,” said Devine. “I knew she had the potential to be an impact player for this program once we recruited her. Throughout the season she continued to get stronger, and now opponents see her as a threat that must be watched.”

In the other awards, North Florida’s Nicole Baran was tabbed Libero of the Year, while Jacksonville’s Sammie Strausbaugh received the Freshman of the Year honor. Florida Gulf Coast’s Dave Nicholas was pegged Coach of the Year.  

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