SPARTANBURG, S.C. - South Division winner College of Charleston earned four all-Southern Conference selections, one all-freshman selection and one individual honor in balloting conducted by the league's 12 volleyball coaches, the conference announced Wednesday.
The Cougars' senior setter Cole Dawley was named the Player of the Year and was also a first team all-conference selection. Joining Dawley on the first team was junior middle hitter Elyse Chubb and junior middle blocker Sarah Havel. Senior Ginny Phillips was the lone Cougar on the second team all-conference, and outside hitter Madelyn McGinnis was an all-freshman selection for the Cougars.
"It's definitely a great reflection on this group," said CofC Head Coach Jason Kepner. "They are an extremely hard working, self-sacrificing group. I think they were all very well deserving of the honors."
Earlier this season Dawley became the first athlete in Cougar volleyball history to total 3,000 assists, 1,200 digs and 200 blocks. She currently ranks fourth on the Cougar all-time assist list with 3,606.
"Cole has had an outstanding career here at the College of Charleston," Kepner said. "I think being Player of the Year her senior year is, I don't think I could ask for a better way for her to go out. She has done an outstanding job with our team and has been a great leader. She has kept this program moving forward in her years here."
Junior Elyse Chubb finished second in conference hitting percentage at .383 and eighth in kills. Chubb currently ranks fourth on the all-time school block list with 370.
"Elyse has been the most consistent hitter we have had since she has been here," Kepner said. "I think the thing that impresses me the most about Elyse is that through the last few years opponents are focusing more on her and she is still hitting a high percentage. For her to continue getting great numbers when teams are focusing on her more, definitely shows a big improvement."
Junior Sarah Havel earned October Defensive Athlete of the Month after setting a school record with 17 blocks against Elon. She also became one of nine CofC athletes to join the 300 block club.
"Sarah has done a great job," Kepner said. "She has really flourished as a middle blocker and on the attack. She has been our best blocker this season and has also been a great offensive weapon for us. She has made our team a more dangerous team and has opened up opportunities for everyone else."
Senior Ginny Phillips also joined the 300 block club and passed 100 career service aces this season. She is also 10th on the all-time kill list with 832.
"Ginny has improved on her outstanding season from last year," Kepner said. "She is a great offensive weapon for us and has become even smarter with her play. I'm very happy for her and I think she is going to have another great tournament this year."
Freshman Madelyn McGinnis finished fifth on the team in kills with 210. She also totaled 63 digs and 37 blocks.
"Maddie had a great year," Kepner said. "As a freshman you are always going to have ups and downs. Maddie has gone through some growing pains, but has really helped us with her explosiveness and has made some huge swings at crucial moments. She is going to be a great player in the future."
Another Cougar athlete that had an outstanding year was senior outside-hitter Whitney Russell. Russell was selected September Offensive Player of the Month after recording 32 kills in the CofC win over South Carolina. It was the second most ever kills in a match for a CofC athlete. Russell currently ranks ninth on the all-time kill list with 938.
"We also want to recognize Whitney for having an outstanding year," Kepner said. "She started extremely strong and was one of the main reasons we started the non-conference schedule so successful with wins over Cincinnati and South Carolina. Whitney is very deserving of being recognized for what she has done for the team this season."
College of Charleston finished the season 15-1 in the SoCon and 27-5 overall. The Cougars closed out the regular season with a 13-game winning streak and won its last 12 conference matches. They open play in the 2010 Southern Conference Tournament Friday at 12:30p.m. against Samford.
All-Conference First Team
Elyse Chubb, College of Charleston MH, Jr.
Cole Dawley, College of Charleston S, Sr.
Sarah Havel, College of Charleston MB, Jr.
Sarabeth Peele, Davidson OH, Sr.
Kelly Kirby, Furman RS/S, Jr.
Parker Small, Georgia Southern MH, Jr.
Kate Van Dyke, Georgia Southern S, So.
All-Conference Second Team
Courtney Rhein, Appalachian State L, So.
Ginny Phillips, College of Charleston RS, Sr.
Caroline Lemke, Elon MB, Jr.
Sarah Schermerhorn, Elon MB, Sr.
Chandler Ambrester, Furman OH, So.
Bethany Sanford, Georgia Southern OH, Jr.
Elizabeth Neisler, Samford OH, So.
Madelyn McGinnis, College of Charleston OH
Sarah McCarthy, Furman S
Enjoli Johnson, Georgia Southern MH
Kellie Orewiler, UNCG L
Katie Murphy, Samford MB
Morgan Cochran, Western Carolina L
Amanda Liguori, Wofford OH
Player of the Year
Cole Dawley, College of Charleston S, Sr.
Freshman of the Year
Katie Murphy, Samford OH
Libero of the Year
Paula Passmore, Chattanooga So.