Jan. 30, 2012
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss Head Volleyball Coach Abbey Sutherland and staff handed out several awards to players at the annual awards banquet on Sunday afternoon in the South Endzone.
Senior Kelsea Seymour came away with the top honor for the second-straight year, the Sharon Montgomery Award, awarded to the team's most valuable player. Seymour was named the Conference USA Setter of the Year, first team All-C-USA while earning C-USA Setter of the Week three times. She finished her career with 4,635 assists for a 10.05 per set average, 77 aces and 1,223 digs.
Seymour also earned AVCA All-Midwest Region first team honors and concluded the year with honorable mention AVCA All-America honors.
Two other players were recognized for earning All-Conference USA honors - Ashley Mell and Lisa Knecht - earned second team honors. Mell ranked fourth in C-USA in points and kills. She tallied 381 kills for a 3.59 per set average and had 437 points (4.12 pps). She was named C-USA Offensive Player of the Week once. Mell finished with 1,324 kills, 900 digs and 244 total blocks.
Knecht received The Hustle Award for the second-straight season. While playing libero for the Golden Eagles, she led the team in digs with 585 for a 4.92 per set average to rank second in the league and earned Defensive Player of the Week two times. She ended her career with 1,549 digs.
Freshman Emily Sears received the "Most Improved Player" Award while Shelby Schacher earned the Scout Team Player of the Year.
Lauren Sears, Knecht and Seymour were recognized for their academic success as they were named to the Conference USA All-Academic team. Sears was voted to the Capital One All-District VI first team for the third straight year with a 4.0 GPA, and earned Capital One Academic All-American second team, becoming the first player to do so time since 2000.
The team also received an award for Academic Excellence for carrying a team GPA of 3.644. This is the third-consecutive year the volleyball program has received this award.