ROCK HILL, S.C. — Senior middle blocker Blaire Fowler was named All-South Atlantic Conference First Team, while outside hitter Casey Mense was named to the SAC All-Freshman Team, league officials announced Thursday morning with the unveiling of the regular-season awards.
Hailing from Fort Worth, Texas, Blaire Fowler garnered All-SAC First Team distinctions after leading the Lady Railsplitters to a 20-12 overall record and an 11-6 mark in the SAC. This season, Fowler has amassed 429 kills to rank second in the SAC in that category, while ranking third in the league in kills per set at 3.64. She bolstered her resume offensively this season with a .308 attack percentage to sit in third in the SAC in that category.
Blaire has also been a force on the defensive side of the ball, as she finished second on the team with 3.03 digs per set and led the team in total digs with 357. Those defensive numbers rank 17th and 11th respectively in the South Atlantic Conference. Fowler led the team in blocking while ranking sixth in the SAC in total blocking with 80 and fifth in block assists with 66. She also ranked third in the league in points per set this season with 4.3 while leading the conference in total points with 505.5.
Out of the Lady Railsplitters’ 32 games, Fowler notched a double-double in 16 of those contests. Fowler elevated her play down the closing stretch of the season, tallying a double-double in seven of the final nine games. She recorded at least 15 kills in 10 games and at least 15 digs in nine matches.
Among Fowler’s highlights from 2012 the final game of the regular season stands out, as she propelled the Lady Railsplitters to a 3-1 victory over Catawba with a 27-kill, 14-dig performance. With those 27 kills, she set the single-match record at LMU for kills in the rally scoring era. She tallied that figure on a .556 attack percentage to lead LMU to victory.
Four days prior to that match, Fowler recorded a 25-kill, 17-dig outing at Carson-Newman. That figure placed her tenth on the all-time list at LMU for kills in a single-match before she knocked herself off of the list against Catawba.
Statistically speaking, Fowler’s season will be remembered as one of the best in the history of Lincoln Memorial University volleyball. This season, Fowler ranks fifth on the list of all-time single-season records at LMU in kills per set (3.64), sixth in kills (429), sixth in attack percentage (.308), seventh in points (505.0), eighth in points per set (4.28) and 10th in reception percentage (.938).
Fowler’s name is laced throughout the all-time career records at LMU despite only competing for the Lady Railsplitters for three seasons, as she sits fourth in attack percentage (.300), fifth in points per set (3.82), sixth in kills per set (3.16), seventh in kills (1,046), eighth in points (1263.5), ninth in total blocks (231) and 10th in block assists (185).
Outside hitter Casey Mense joined Fowler on the list of regular-season award winners, as the Murfreesboro, Tenn., native garnered SAC All-Freshman Team laurels. In her debut season at Lincoln Memorial, Mense made a splash for the Lady Railsplitters, leading the team in digs per set (3.22) and finishing second on the team in total digs (341). Mense ranked 14th in the conference in digs per set and 13th in total digs. Mense led the team in reception attempts with 601 and also boasted the highest reception percentage among players with at least 50 attempts with a .952 mark. Mense’s .952 reception percentage sits in fifth on the list of all-time single-season records at Lincoln Memorial University.
Mense also provided a viable offensive option for the Lady Railsplitters, tallying 144 kills during the regular season for an average of 1.36 per set.
Mense recorded a pair of double-double performances during the regular season, highlighted by her 12-kill, 24-dig outing in the Lady Railsplitters’ win over Tusculum College on September 25th. Both of those figures were season-high numbers for Mense.
As a whole, Mense recorded double-digit digs in 18 matches with at least 15 digs in eight of those contests. She recorded at least five kills in 17 matches this season.
The Lady Railsplitters begin the 2012 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament Friday in Brevard, N.C. LMU will meet Catawba at 7:30 p.m. in the quarterfinals.
Anna Hilton of Wingate was named the SAC player of the year while Shelly Stumpff of Wingate is the freshman of the year. Wingates Shelton Collier and Tusculum’s Michael Robinson were named co-coachs of the year.
Joining Fowler and Hilton on the All-SAC first team are Kaitlyn Whitmer of Catawba, Samantha Parrish of Newberry, Haley Rhyne of Lenoir-Rhyne, Tusculum’s Kassie Voelker and Susie Murach and Lexi Potter of Wingate.