Southland announces all conference volleyball teams

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Houston Baptist, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi land four selections each to lead the conference

FRISCO, Texas – Sam Houston’s Ashley Lewis is the 2020 Southland Conference Volleyball Player of the Year, the league announced Tuesday. Lewis was also named a first-team all-conference selection as the Southland All-Conference rosters were announced along with the league’s individual superlative awards. All Southland superlative honors are presented by Ready Nutrition.

Houston Baptist and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi produced four selections apiece to lead the 10 schools represented on the Southland All-Conference rosters. Conference regular-season champion Stephen F. Austin earned a trio of selections, followed by Central Arkansas, Sam Houston and Southeastern Louisiana, which each registered two honorees apiece. Abilene Christian, UIW, McNeese and New Orleans round out the rosters with one selection each.

Lewis was named the Southland Player of the Year after pacing the Bearkats to a 10-2 record and leading the league in kills (204), kills per set (4.34) and points (232.5). Sam Houston played a conference-only schedule, where she averaged 13.28 attacks per set, a mark that ranks fourth in the NCAA this season. Lewis has played in all 47 of the Bearkats’ sets, starting in all 12 matches and recording nine double-double performances. In her senior season, she pushed the ‘Kats to the No. 2 seed in this week’s Southland Conference Tournament.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s Carissa Barnes and Faith Panhans were named Southland Libero of the Year and Setter of the Year, respectively, after helping the Islanders to the No. 4 seed at the Southland Tournament. Barnes leads the conference and ranks 12th in the nation with 33 service aces on the year and averages a stellar 5.87 digs per set for the Islanders. Panhans, a sophomore, ranks second in the league for assists (449) and hitting percentage (.390) and averages 9.85 assists per set. She also racked up one triple-double against UIW (Feb. 25) with 13 kills, 43 assists and 11 digs in just four sets.

UIW’s Chase Jackson was named the league’s Newcomer of the Year after pushing the Cardinals to their first Southland tournament appearance in program history. After transferring from Wichita State, Jackson recorded 112 points and 101 kills in her first season of action with the Cardinals.

Freshman Kailin Newsome made an immediate impact for Southeastern Louisiana, pushing the Lady Lions to the tournament’s No. 3 seed and earning Freshman of the Year and all-conference first team honors along the way. Newsome has been an explosive component of the potent Southeastern Louisiana offense, ranking second in the league in kills per set (4.14) and points (280.5). In addition to Newsome, SLU head coach Jeremy White was named the Katrinka Jo Crawford Coach of the Year. After being selected to finish seventh in preseason polls, White steered his team to a 9-3 conference record and the No. 3 seed at the Southland Tournament, the highest tournament-seeding position in program history.

Each individual Southland Conference superlative award winner and all-conference honoree will be recognized prior to their first match at the 2020 Southland Conference Tournament, which begins Wednesday, March 31, inside Dugan Wellness Center on the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi campus.

Player of the Year: Ashley Lewis, Sam Houston

Freshman of the Year: Kailin Newsome, Southeastern Louisiana

Newcomer of the Year: Chase Jackson, UIW

Libero of the Year: Carissa Barnes, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

Setter of the Year: Faith Panhans, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

Coach of the Year: Jeremy White, Southeastern Louisiana

All-Conference
First Team

Name Cl. Pos. School Hometown
Kate Mueller Sr. OH Abilene Christian Sugar Land, Texas
Bethany Clapp Jr. OH UIW Corpus Christi, Texas
Ashley Lewis2 Sr. OH/RS Sam Houston Houston, Texas
Kailin Newsome Fr. OH Southeastern Louisiana Houston, Texas
Taya Mitchell2 Sr. MB Stephen F. Austin Rowlett, Texas
Carissa Barnes2 So. L Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Weatherford, Texas
Faith Panhans So. S Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Plano, Texas

All-Conference
Second Team

Name Cl. Pos. School Hometown
Jada Allen Jr. MB Houston Baptist Desoto, Texas
Mikayla Vivens3 Sr. OH Houston Baptist San Antonio, Texas
Morgan Janda So. S Sam Houston Katy, Texas
Maddie Miller2 Sr. DS/L Stephen F. Austin Lorena, Texas
Leah Powell Fr. OH Stephen F. Austin Copperas Cove, Texas
Chloe Simon Sr. OH Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Katy, Texas
Rachel Young2 Jr. MB Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Frisco, Texas

All-Conference
Third Team

Name Cl. Pos. School Hometown
Emily Doss2 Sr. DS/L Central Arkansas Springdale, Ark.
Bailey Waddington Sr. S Central Arkansas San Angelo, Texas
Ebonie Ballesteros Jr. MB Houston Baptist El Paso, Texas
Ellie Wipf So. S Houston Baptist New Braunfels, Texas
Regan Stiawalt Jr. OH McNeese Ness City, Kan.
Shelby Pullins R-Sr. MB New Orleans Detroit, Mich.
Crispin Adams So. MB Southeastern Louisiana Brookshire, Texas
2 – Two-Time Selection
3 – Three-Time Selection
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