MACON, Ga. – Lipscomb junior middle blocker Jewell Dobson highlights the Atlantic Sun Conference Volleyball regular season awards as the 2013 Player of the Year, the conference office announced on Tuesday.
Dobson is the fourth Lady Bisons player to earn A-Sun Player of the Year honors. Lipscomb sophomore Bri McCombs was awarded Libero of the Year.
Dobson was also a unanimous selection to the All-Conference First Team. Also receiving A-Sun First Team honors for the Lady Bisons were Lauren Ford and Caitlin “Dot” Dotson.
Dobson leads the A-Sun in kills per set (4.66), is also currently eighth in the nation in the category and has ranked among the nation's top 10 for most of the season. With 457 kills in 2013, she totals 1073 for her career and this year became one of six in the Lipscomb program in the NCAA area to surpass that level and the seventh overall. Dobson also leads the A-Sun in points per set (5.32) and has also consistently appeared in this top 10 nationally.
A 2013 Preseason All-Conference selection, Dobson is a two-time A-Sun Player of the Week in 2013 (9/9, 10/17), earned a Tennessee Sports Writers Association Player of the Week honor (10/18) and was selected as Most Valuable Player of the Lipscomb Invitational Tournament. She is also ranked 34th nationally and second in the A-Sun in hitting percentage (.386). Dobson set her career high this season with 27 kills vs. ETSU (10/5) and six times she has recorded 20 or more kills, along with tallying double figures in kills in 27 matches.
Joining Dobson on the A-Sun All-Conference First-Team were ETSU's Megan Devine and Meredith Hardy, Jacksonville's Sammie Strausbaugh, and Lauren Ford, Caitlin Dotson and Bri McCombs from Lipscomb.
ETSU's Meredith Hardy leads all A-Sun players in blocks per set (1.53), and broke the all-time A-Sun blocks career record after tallying eight blocks in a three-set win vs. Kennesaw State on Oct. 29. She currently has 468 total blocks, has recorded at least one block in 92 consecutive matches and ranks 16th nationally in blocks per set and 70th in attack percentage.
Dotson is first in the nation in assists per set this season. The A-Sun Player of the Week on Oct. 21, Dotson was also a Preseason All-Conference selection and the second player in program history to make more than 3,000 assists in a career. She is tied for second in the program in assists in a season and owns the Lipscomb season program record for assists per set.
Ford is one of six players in Lipscomb NCAA history to break the 1,000 kills barrier, and the seventh overall. A Preseason All-Conference selection, Ford is third in the conference overall in kills per set and fourth in A-Sun matches only. She also ranks ninth in A-Sun matches only in hitting percentage and is third among active career leaders in kills in the A-Sun.
McCombs had a solid season to claim the Libero of the Year honor, as in conference play she is the A-Sun leader in digs per set, averaging 4.62. Along with leading the Lady Bisons in digs per set, McCombs' overall digs total (421) is fifth highest for a season in history of the program and her digs per set (4.34) is fourth highest at Lipscomb program for a season. McCombs tallied eight matches with 20 or more digs this season along with recording double figures in digs 23 times. McCombs was also the A-Sun Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 30.
Jacksonville's Sammie Strausbaugh and ETSU's Megan Devine joined Dobson as unanimous selections to the All-Atlantic Sun First-Team. Last year's Freshman of the Year, Strausbaugh returned in 2013 to lead the A-Sun in service aces per set (.36) and is also seventh in the conference kills per set (3.44). With 361 kills and 38 service aces, she also leads the No. 1 seeded Dolphins in kills per set, service aces per set and digs per set (2.90). The 2012 Player of the Year, Devine became the A-Sun career leader in kills in 2013 and currently enters the championship with 1,925. She is ranked second among career leaders in the NCAA as well in the category and is second in the A-Sun this season in kills per set (4.56).
The 2013 Atlantic Sun Volleyball Championship will be played Nov. 21-23, 2013, hosted by Kennesaw State at the KSU Convocation Center in Kennesaw, Ga. First-round play is scheduled for 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 21 and the entire championship can be viewed on ESPN3 and via the WatchESPN app. Friday’s games also begin at 4 and 6:30 p.m. and Saturday’s final at 2 p.m.