NASHVILLE – For the second straight season Lipscomb’s Carlyle Nusbaum proved she was the best volleyball player in the ASUN Conference and is bringing home some hardware to back that claim up.
Nusbaum was named 2017 ASUN Co-Player of the Year and a unanimous First Team All-Conference selection when the conference revealed its yearly awards Wednesday night at a banquet inside Allen Arena. She shares the honor with FGCU's Amanda Carroll.
It's just the second time in league history the top honor was shared. In 2011 it was Lipscomb’s Katie Rose and Belmont’s Maggie Johnson who split the distinction.
Also receiving accolades at the ceremony were senior Brittany Thomas and sophomore Morgan Elmore, who landed on the ASUN All-Academic Team.
“It was a great night to have these three girls honored tonight in front of their peers,” Lipscomb head coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “The only way individual awards are possible is because of team play. I think this group is excited about what’s ahead of us this week.”
Nusbaum is the first player to go back-to-back with Player of the Year honors since former Lipscomb standout Alex Kelly in 2008-09. She is also the eighth Bison to be named ASUN Player of the Year in the last 10 seasons.
In 2017, Nusbaum put together one of the best statistical seasons in ASUN history.
She led the conference in kills, again, with 479 – the 11th most in the NCAA. Her 5.15 kills per set is the third highest single-season mark in ASUN history and the most since 2005. Nusbaum also leads the league in points (509.5) and points per set (5.5), which is the fourth highest total in the country.
Nusbaum owned seven of the top 10 kill performances in the league this season, including a career high 33 against Oakland. She also went over the 20+ mark nine times.
“I think it’s quite an honor for Carlyle and it is something that is extremely well deserved,” Rosenthal said. “I thought the league’s play, especially for individual performances, continued to get better this year, but Carlyle was truly the best.
“It is impressive to see the new level she continues to go to and I know that’s something she has worked very hard at. She wanted to earn it.”
On the defensive side of the net, Nusbaum reeled in 259 digs for the second most on the team. She also upped her digs per set average from 2.09 in 2016 to 2.79 his season. The Overland Park, Kansas native recorded 14 double-doubles this year, matching her career total in her first two seasons in Nashville.
Nusbaum earned three ASUN Player of the Week awards, giving her nine for her career. That is the most by any volleyball player in ASUN history.
“It’s a credit to what Carlyle has done, and not just in the ASUN, but on a national scale,” Rosenthal said. “There is still a lot to be seen by her. I am proud of her and the rest of our girls.”
In the classroom, Lipscomb continues to be a step above. Thomas and Elmore earned their first-ever selections to the All-Academic team, giving Lipscomb a league high two players on the squad.
Thomas posted a 3.85 GPA while majoring in Accounting. The libero became the second Bison to ever eclipse 1,500 career digs after leading the team for the third straight season with 388. She finished seventh in the conference averaging 4.00 digs per set.
The Overland Park, Kansas native notched a season high 26 digs in the season finale at Stetson last weekend. She also took over the program’s top spot on the career service aces list with 109.
Elmore sported a 3.69 GPA while majoring in Dietetics. The sophomore setter facilitated the league’s top offense to a conference-leading 13.60 assists and 14.40 kills per set. Those totals are the 13th and 16th best marks in the NCAA.
She led the team and finished sixth in the conference with 750 assists and 8.06 per set. After taking over as the primary setter midway through the season, Elmore raised her assist per set numbers from 5.84 at the time to 12.52 currently. She reached 40+ assists in eight of her last nine outings, including a career high 55 in four sets versus Jacksonville.
Lipscomb opens ASUN Championship action Thursday at 5 p.m. as they take on No. 5 North Florida.