THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2013
Jacksonville Shines in A-Sun Sand Volleyball All-Conference Honors
Six Dolphins honored as JU captures Pair, Freshman, and Student-Athlete of the Year
MACON, Ga. – Jacksonville University’s No. 1 pair of Sammie Strausbaugh and Taylor Nyquist were selected as the A-Sun Sand Volleyball Pair of the Year, highlighting a strong Dolphins’ presence in the postseason awards that also includes A-Sun Sand Volleyball Freshman of the Year Gabriela Roman and Strausbaugh as the A-Sun Sand Volleyball Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
JU’s No. 1 duo of Strausbaugh and Nyquist teamed up for a 25-3 overall record this season and a 7-1 mark in A-Sun play. The pair was named the A-Sun Pair of the Week on April 3 after they went a perfect 7-0 at the JU Easter Tournament with two wins coming over the No. 1 pair from third-ranked Florida State (March 21 AVCA poll). They closed out the regular season at the Fiesta at Siesta Key with a 7-0 record including a Gold Division Bracket Championship.
“Sammie and Taylor are very deserving of this award, they have played very well together all year and they have been successful against top competition, including nationally ranked teams like Florida State, FIU and College of Charleston,” said JU Head Coach Michelle Collier.
A-Sun Freshman of the Year Gabriela Roman was half of JU’s No. 3 pairs team that posted a 5-3 record during A-Sun play. The Dolphins added Roman’s classmates Emily Laskelle and Thalya Pagan on the list along with Mercer’s Molly Locke and Kendale Speyerer from Stetson.
“Our freshmen have done a great job all year. All of them were new to the sand game and they have worked really hard to improve and learn. They have a great future ahead of them, and I am excited to help them continue to grow,” Collier said.
“Gaby has played a big role for us this spring as a freshman, she has carried a lot of pressure to perform and play the game at a high level for her team and she is very deserving of this award; I look forward to her future here at JU.”
As the A-Sun Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Strausbaugh is one of two Dolphins named Academic All-Conference, as she boasts a 4.0 in exercise science. Teammate Kendall Courtney, a spanish major with a 3.98 GPA joins her on the 10-person squad.
“Academics is something that we take very seriously as a program,” said Collier. “Having two players on the Academic All-Conference, speaks highly of their commitment to school and athletics. Sammie and Kendall are a great example for all athletes to follow and I am proud of their efforts on and off the court”
JU will served as host to the 2013 A-Sun Sand Volleyball Championship, April 20-21, at the JU Beach Volleyball Complex. The winner will be the A-Sun representative and the first conference champion to receive an automatic bid to the AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championship.