Sammie Strausbaugh named A-Sun Freshman of the Year
Sammie Strausbaugh
Sammie Strausbaugh
Following a strong first season, JU volleyball’s Sammie Strausbaugh was named the A-Sun Freshman of the Year on the annual all-conference awards released Tuesday by the league office.

Strausbaugh, the first player in program history to earn the honor, also picked up all-freshman team accolades along with fellow teammate Gabriela Roman. The duo is the first Dolphins to make the all-freshman squad since Alyssa Robertson in 2010.

“We are super excited for Sammie and Gaby,” JU head coach Michelle Collier said. “They are two young ladies, who have had to step up and play some big roles this season and they have done a great job at it. I am super excited about the next three years I get to spend helping them continue to develop their volleyball skills and grow as young women.”

Strausbaugh led the Dolphins in kills (360) and service aces (34) in her first season. She also ranks second in digs (286) and fourth in blocks (44) and assists (22). Strausbaugh recorded double-digits kills in 19 contests, including more than 20 four times. She finished the year with double-digits kills in eight of the final 10 matches. Strausbaugh had 11 aces between five-set wins against USC Upstate and East Tennessee State to help JU claim its tournament berth since 2009. She also picked up A-Sun Player of the Week honors twice in the final three weeks.

“Sammie is deserving of this award,” Collier said. “She has performed very consistently this season, and we know teams prepare to defend her every night we step on the court. It is not an easy role to play and she has done it in a very high level, always working hard, and doing everything she can to get better as a player and help her teammates. She an example to be followed and I look forward to having her leadership as we continue to develop this program.”

Roman wrapped her first season third in kills (196), fourth in aces (16) and sixth in digs (114). She had 10 double-digit kill contests, including 20 kills and 10 digs in the win against Louisiana. Roman tallied 17 kills in the loss at Northern Kentucky and had a double-double (10 kills, 15 digs) against UNF.

The Dolphins begin the tournament Thursday as the No. 5 seed and will play cross-town rival North Florida at 8:30 p.m.