Southland announces 2023 Volleyball All-Conference, superlative selections

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Southland Conference

FRISCO, Texas – The league leaders, Southeastern and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, racked up seven of the 14 spots on the SLC All-Conference teams, as announced by the conference office on Wednesday.

For the second consecutive year, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s outside hitter, Kyndal Payne has been named the Southland Conference Player of the Year. Payne led the league with 3.97 kills per set on a .295 hitter percentage. She finished the season with 205 kills and averaged 4.43 points per set.

Head Coach Jeremy White earned himself the Katrinka Jo Crawford Coach of the Year Award for the second time since taking over the Southeastern Volleyball program five years ago. In five seasons with the Lions, Coach White has a .620 winning percentage, posting an 85-52 record at Southeastern. The Lions are currently on a 20-match win streak, winning 60 of their last 66 sets.

Joining her teammate on the superlative selection list is Setter of the Year, Belle Morgan from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Morgan averaged an impressive 10.71 assists per set through conference play, ranking her 14th in the country in that category. She also helped lead the Islanders to 12th in the country in assists per set at 13.03. Morgan earned the SLC Setter of the Week five times this season.

The Newcomer of the Year for the Southland Conference is William Carey University transfer Rachel Hartmann of Southeastern. Hartmann earned herself the title of SLC Offensive Player of the Week four times this season, averaging 3.21 kills per set on a .354 hitting percentage throughout the season. Hartmann helped the Lions earn the 10th spot in the nation in the kills per set category.

Four-time SLC Defensive Player of the Week, Bailey Tillman of McNeese has been named the Libero of the Year. She is ranked 7th in the nation in total digs with 579 and is ranked 14th in the nation in digs per set. Tillman averaged 5.19 digs per set in the 106 sets she played throughout the conference season. Bailey was named to the All-Conference First Team Libero.

McNeese outside hitter Tshilanda Diouf was named the SLC Freshman of the Year to round out the league’s superlative awards. Diouf ranked fourth in the conference in blocks per set, averaging 0.97 blocks for the Cowgirls.

Joining Payne and Morgan on the All-SLC first team is middle blocker Leah Stolfus Stolfus found herself ranked second in the league in hitting percentage (.369) and ninth in kills per set (3.46).

Kailin Newsome joins Hartmann on the All-SLC First Team with 407 kills during conference play, posting a 3.88 kills per set average. She led the league in aces per set (0.47) and points per set (4.47.).

Carissa Chainey adds another Cowgirl to round out the All-SLC First Team, joining Tillman. Chainey ranks third in the league in both kills per set (3.40) and points per set (3.84).

The second team all-conference honorees include McNeese’s McKenzie Moore, Northwestern State’s Reaghan Thompson, UIW’s Annamarie Alvarez, Southeastern’s Cicily Hildago, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s Libero Kayla White, and the HCU duo of Audrey Pearce and Anna Gadway.

Player of the Year: Kyndal Payne, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Katrinka Jo Crawford Coach of the Year: Jeremy White, Southeastern
Newcomer of the Year: Rachel Hartmann, Southeastern
Freshman of the Year: Tshilanda Diouf, McNeese
Setter of the Year: Belle Morgan, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Libero of the Year: Bailey Tillman, McNeese

Player Cl. Pos. School Hometown
Kyndal Payne 3 Jr. OH A&M-Corpus Christi Haslet, Texas
Kailin Newsome 3 Sr. OH Southeastern Houston, Texas
Rachel Hartmann Jr. OH Southeastern Needville, Texas
Carissa Chainey Jr. OH McNeese Middleton, Idaho
Leah Stolfus 2 Jr. MB A&M-Corpus Christi Denton, Texas
Belle Morgan Gr. S A&M-Corpus Christi Fort Mitchell, Ky.
Bailey Tillman2 Jr. L McNeese Sugar Land, Texas
Player Cl. Pos. School Hometown
McKenzie Moore Jr. MB McNeese Tomball, Texas
Annamarie Alvarez Sr. MB UIW Los Angeles, Calif.
Cicily Hidalgo3 Jr. OH Southeastern Opelousas, La.
Reaghan Thompson2 So. MB Northwestern State Kemah, Texas
Audrey Pearce3 So. MB HCU Aledo, Texas
Anna Gadway Sr. OPP HCU Needville, Texas
Kayla White Jr. L A&M-Corpus Christi Georgetown, Texas
2 – Two-Time Selection
3 – Three-Time Selection#EarnedEveryDay

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