A&M-Corpus Christi’s Kyndal Payne named Southland Volleyball Player of the Year

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Kyndal Payne

Two Islanders three-peat as superlative awards and all-conference teams announced

FRISCO, Texas – Texas A&M-Corpus Christi outside hitter Kyndal Payne was named the 2022 Southland Conference Volleyball Player of the Year and HCU’s Trent Herman was named the Katrinka Jo Crawford Coach of the Year to highlight the conference’s annual awards.

Payne was one of three Islanders to earn superlative honors, joined by three-time Setter of the Year Faith Panhans and three-time Libero of the Year Carissa Barnes. These three Islanders were also First Team All-Southland selections.

Payne led the conference in points per set (5.39), kills per set (4.91), and double-doubles (11) in SLC play. She had double digit kills in every conference match and ranked seventh in the league in hitting percentage in conference play (.309) and broke the A&M-Corpus Christi record for kills in a match with 28. She’s the third Islander to be named Player of the Year, joining Brittany Gilpin in 2016 and Faith Panhans in 2021. Payne was a second team selection in 2021

Panhans wins Setter of the Year for the third consecutive season, becoming the third player in conference history to achieve that feat, and the second A&M-Corpus Christi Islander. She led the conference in assists per set at 10.57 during conference play and was also the top setter in kills per set. She was the only setter to rank top 10 in the league in attack percentage at .360 and led the conference’s most efficient offense in terms of team hitting percentage at .272 and kills per set at 15.49.

Barnes wins Libero of the Year for the third consecutive season, becoming the second player in conference history to three-peat in this award. She led the conference in digs per set at 5.48 in conference play and tied for the conference lead in aces per set in conference play at 0.45. She had double digit digs in all 18 conference matches and had over 20 digs in 10 league matches.

Herman won the Katrinka Jo Crawford Coach of the Year award for the second consecutive season after leading the Huskies to their first Southland regular season championship and the top seed in this week’s Southland Conference Volleyball Championship.

HCU redshirt freshman Grace McLaughlin was named the Newcomer of the Year, ranking second in the SLC with 10.31 assists per set in conference play. McLaughlin recorded 19 double-doubles, including 10 in conference play, and had 50 or more assists five times. She is the first HCU player to win this award since 2015. She was a second team All-Southland pick.

McNeese’s Sanni Rantanen was named the Freshman of the Year to round out the league’s superlative awards. She ranked third in conference in hitting percentage (.348), seventh in aces/set (.36), and fifth in blocks/set (1.00). She is 12th in the nation for total blocks (135). She is the first Cowgirl to win this award since 2002. She was a second team All-Southland pick.

Joining Payne, Panhans, and Barnes on the All-Southland First Team are Southeastern’s Kailin Newsome, HCU’s Anna Gadway, A&M-Corpus Christi’s Leah Stolfus, and McNeese’s Kendall Glueck.

Newsome had a 4.19 kill per set average in conference play and ranked 41st nationally in kills per set. She ranked second in the league in points per set during conference play at 4.58, and was the only player to be named SLC Offensive Player of the Week three times. She had nine double-doubles in conference play and earns first team all-conference honors for the second time in her career (2020 when she was also Freshman of the Year).

Gadway ranked 10th in conference play with 2.89 kills per set and 3.25 points per set. She recorded five double-doubles, with double-digit kills 19 times (12 in conference play), and double-digit digs eight times. She is a first team all-conference selection for the second consecutive season.

Stolfus earns all-conference honors for the first time after leading the conference in hitting percentage at .382 during league action. She ranked third in kills per set at 3.46 and points per set at 3.85 in SLC play. She was one of only two players in conference to finish in the top 10 in hitting percentage, kills per set, and points per set. She hit over .300 in 14 conference matches, had 10 or more kills in 12 conference matches, and 20 kills or more in three conference matches.

Glueck was a third team all-conference selection in 2021 and elevated her play to first team all-conference levels this season. She ranks ninth in the conference for kills (2.96) and blocks/set (.90), and seventh in points/set with 3.56.

Second team all-conference honorees include award winners Rantanen and McLaughlin, HCU’s Sara Arroyo and Audrey Pearce, Southeastern’s Cicily Hidalgo, Northwestern State’s Reaghan Thompson, and McNeese libero Bailey Tillman.

Each individual Southland Conference superlative award winner and all-conference honoree will be recognized prior to their first match at the 2022 Southland Conference Tournament, which begins today in Hammond, La., at Southeastern Louisiana University’s University Center.

Player of the Year: Kyndal Payne, A&M-Corpus Christi
Katrinka Jo Crawford Coach of the Year: Trent Herman, HCU
Setter of the Year: Faith Panhans, A&M-Corpus Christi
Libero of the Year: Carissa Barnes, A&M-Corpus Christi
Freshman of the Year: Sanni Rantanen, McNeese
Newcomer of the Year: Grace McLaughlin, HCU

FIRST TEAM ALL-SOUTHLAND
Player Cl. Pos. School Hometown
Kyndal Payne 2 So. OH A&M-Corpus Christi Haslet, Texas
Kailin Newsome 2 Jr. OH Southeastern Houston, Texas
Anna Gadway 2 Sr. RS HCU Needville, Texas
Faith Panhans 3 Sr. S A&M-Corpus Christi Plano, Texas
Leah Stolfus So. MB A&M-Corpus Christi Denton, Texas
Kendall Glueck 2 Sr. OPP McNeese Tomball, Texas
Carissa Barnes 3 Sr. L A&M-Corpus Christi Weatherford, Texas

SECOND TEAM ALL-SOUTHLAND
Player Cl. Pos. School Hometown
Sara Arroyo So. OH HCU Albuquerque, N.M.
Sanni Rantanen Fr. MB McNeese Tampere, Finland
Cicily Hidalgo 2 So. OH Southeastern Opelousas, La.
Reaghan Thompson Fr. MB Northwestern State Kemah, Texas
Audrey Pearce 2 So. MB HCU Aledo, Texas
Grace McLaughlin R-Fr. S HCU Lucas, Texas
Bailey Tillman So. L McNeese Sugar Land, Texas

2 – Two-Time Selection
3 – Three-Time Selection

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