Klein selected Scholar-Athlete of the Year; Five Bucs earn Big South Volleyball postseason honors

Klein selected Scholar-Athlete of the Year; Five Bucs earn Big South Volleyball postseason honors

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (BigSouthSports.com) - Charleston Southern junior middle blocker Kylie Klein was named the 2016 Big South Volleyball Scholar-Athlete of the Year and sophomore libero Madison Martin was selected to the All-Conference First Team to lead five Buccaneers earning postseason conference honors, as announced by the Big South on Thursday morning.

Sophomore outside hitter Addison Kaderli was named to the All-Conference Honorable Mention team, while Rachel Smith and Brooke Monssen were selected to the All-Freshman team.

Klein became just the second CSU player to be selected as the Big South Conference's Scholar-Athlete of the Year, joining Allison Arreola (1998) in receiving the honor. Klein has posted a 3.97 GPA in the classroom while pursuing a degree in Graphic Design. On the court, the Highlands Ranch, Colo. native was CSU's point person at the net as the Buccaneers led the Big South with 287.0 blocks. Klein finished among the Big South leaders for the second consecutive season in blocks per set and sat among the conference leaders in hitting percentage a majority of the season. She was one of only two Big South players to record 20 solo blocks on the season.

Martin became CSU's first player to be named to the Big South First Team since Amanda Hill (2010) after leading the conference in total digs (638), digs per set (4.98), total digs in conference matches (357), and digs per set in conference play (5.33). The sophomore from Birmingham, Mich. enters the tournament third in the NCAA in total digs and shattered CSU's single-season digs mark set last year by Ashley Higginbothem (603, 2015). Martin posted four of the Big South's 30+ digs matches this season, tying CSU's single match record with 36 in the Bucs' 3-1 win over Radford on October 14.

Kaderli earned Honorable Mention honors after serving as CSU's hitting leader in the 2016 season as the Bucs improved to 8-8 in Big South play this year. Kaderli recorded 10 double-doubles on the season and had six matches with 15+ kills on the year. She recorded a season-high 19 digs in a five-set loss to Winthrop.

Smith and Monssen were one of three sets of teammates to earn Big South All-Freshman honors this season, joining Radford's Sydney Tekstra and Mallory McKnight, and Liberty's Leah Clayton and Anna Gragg.

Smith led all the Big South freshmen in assists on the season in averaging 7.54 assists per set on the floor. She finished the year with 14 double-doubles. Season-highs included a five-match stretch with at least 40 assists, including 49 in the Bucs' win over UNC Asheville, 46 in a win over Radford and 41 in a five-set win against Campbell.

Monssen finished third among Big South freshmen in kills with 291 and led the conference freshmen in total blocks with 103. She led all Big South freshmen in total points (358.5) and points per set (3.14). She recorded a season-high 20 kills against Savannah State, had a season-high 15 digs at Campbell, and had nine blocks twice (vs. Jacksonville State, at Liberty). In CSU's season finale, Monssen recorded a team-high 15 kills, nine blocks, and a .244 hitting percentage in the Bucs win over Liberty.

Charleston Southern enters this weekend's Big South Championships coming off of one of the most successful seasons in program history as the Buccaneers posted a 13-19 record, 8-8 in Big South Conference play. The Bucs struggled toward the end of the season with wins in two of its final nine matches, but CSU topped Presbyterian and Liberty to clinch the No. 5 overall seed in the 2016 Big South Championships.

CSU boasted a five-match winning streak from September 20-October 14 with wins over PC, Gardner-Webb, Campbell, UNC Asheville, and Radford, during the stretch to briefly sit atop the Big South standings early in the season.

Radford junior Maddie Palmer was voted the 2016 Big South Volleyball Player of the Year by the conference's head coaches.  Liberty freshman Leah Clayton was tabbed Freshman of the Year, while Radford's Marci Jenkins was voted Coach of the Year.  In addition, the Big South's sports information directors voted Charleston Southern junior Kylie Klein as the volleyball Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

2016 Big South Conference Volleyball Award Winners
First-Team All-Conference
Maddie Palmer, OH, Jr., Radford
Jenny Tait, MB, Sr., Campbell
Haley Barnes, OH, Jr., High Point
Leah Clayton, OH, Fr., Liberty
Haley Kleespies, S, Soph, Radford
Madison Martin, LIB, Soph., Charleston Southern
Molly Livingston, MB, Soph, High Point

Second-Team All-Conference
Brianna Gray, MB, Sr., Winthrop
Loni Kreun, OH, Sr., Campbell
Madison Vaughn, MB, Sr., UNC Asheville
Emma Weakland, OH, Sr., Winthrop
Anna Willey, S, Jr., Liberty
Jordan Hefner, MB, Soph., High Point
Kayla Schanback, LIB, Jr., Campbell (tie)
Amaya Rousseau, MB, Soph., Radford (tie)

Honorable Mention All-Conference
Sirena Vorster, MB, Jr., Liberty
Anna Gragg, MB, Fr., Liberty
Cara Guthrie, OH, Soph., UNC Asheville
Addison Kaderli, OH, Soph., Charleston Southern
Savannah Angel, RS, Sr., High Point

All-Freshman Team
Leah Clayton, OH, Liberty
Allena Heath, OH, Campbell
Anna Gragg, MB, Liberty
Sydney Tekstra, OH, Radford
Brooke Monssen, OH, Charleston Southern
Rachel Smith, S, Charleston Southern

Mallory McKnight, MB, Radford

All-Academic Team
Madison Linxwiler, MB, Soph., Campbell
Kylie Klein, MB, Jr., Charleston Southern
Taylor Lillard, OH, Sr., Gardner-Webb
Haley Barnes, OH, Jr., High Point
Anna Willey, S, Jr., Liberty
Sierra Davis, OH, Soph., Presbyterian
Kelby Jackson, LIB, Sr., Radford
Madison Vaughn, MB, Sr., UNC Asheville
Carlie Skelton, DS, Soph., Winthrop

Player of the Year
Maddie Palmer, OH, Jr., Radford

Freshman of the Year
Leah Clayton, OH, Liberty

Coach of the Year
Marci Jenkins, Radford

Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Kylie Klein, MB, Jr., Charleston Southern