UTM has league’s top defender, coach
Posted: Friday, November 18, 2011 12:02 pm
BRENTWOOD — UT Martin’s Kasey Elswick was named Defensive Player of the Year honors and Skyhawk head coach Darrin McClure was voted Coach of the Year by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors.
Tennessee State’s Shaquita Williams was selected as the 2011 Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year, and Morehead State’s Laura McDermott was named the Freshman of the Year.
A junior defensive specialist from Louisville, Elswick ranks second in the nation with a league-leading 6.67 digs per set. She also broke the OVC single-season digs record as she has tallied 794 so far this year.
In Conference action, the 2011 All-OVC pick registered 549 digs.
She reached double-digit digs in all but one match this year and reached the 30-dig mark 10 times.
Elswick set a new single-match school record with 46 digs versus Eastern Kentucky on Sept. 23. The 46 digs are also the most in the OVC this year.
This is Elswick’s second straight Defensive Player of the Year honor.
Darrin McClure earns his first coach of the year honor after leading his team to its best league finish since 2002.
The Sky-hawks, who were predicted to finish 10th in the OVC this year, earned the third seed in the league tournament.
UT Martin went 12-8 in the OVC and own a 17-13 overall mark.
The 12 conference wins are the most league victories for the Skyhawks since the 2002 season when they went 15-1.
UT Martin has also secured its first winning season since 2006.
McClure is the second different UT Martin skipper to win Coach of the Year honors, joining Chris Rushing, who won the award in 2000 and 2002.
The 2011 14-member All-OVC team includes three individuals who received postseason honors last season.
Joining Williams and Elswick on the team are Morehead State senior outside hitter Ellie Roberson, redshirt senior middle blocker Emma Keough and junior setter Caitlin Clark; Austin Peay junior outside hitter Nikki Doyle and senior libero Paige Economos; Jacksonville State senior middle blocker Liza Senenkova and senior middle blocker/outside hitter Stephanie Koontz; Tennessee State senior opposite side hitter Terakka Walker and sophomore setter Erika Moss; Southeast Missouri sophomore middle blocker Emily Coon; Eastern Kentucky sophomore outside hitter Ashley Edmond; and UT Martin senior middle blocker Ashley Doherty.
Along with McDermott, earning All-Newcomer honors are Austin Peay freshman setter Cami Fields and freshman middle blocker Hillary Plybon; Eastern Kentucky freshman middle blocker Hannah Burkle and freshman setter Abbey Cvelbar; UT Martin freshman outside hitter Emily Keaton; and Tennessee Tech freshman outside hitter Ellen Conti. Published in The WCP 11.17.11