Ashley Liford Named to C-USA Volleyball's All-Academic Team
Nov. 16, 2006
HOUSTON, Texas - Junior outside hitter Ashley Liford became the fourth Tiger volleyball player to receive postseason awards, as she was one of 11 volleyball student-athletes to be named to the 2006 Conference USA All-Academic Team, as announced by the league office on Thursday. Two schools - Houston and Rice - each had two selections, while East Carolina, Marshall, Memphis, Southern Miss, Tulsa, UAB and UTEP all placed one representative on the inaugural team. The all-academic team consists of 11 student-athletes that have earned a 3.2 cumulative grade point average or better and are a starter or key reserve on the volleyball team.
Liford holds a 3.71 GPA in marketing management is third on her team averaging 3.20 kills per game. She became the 18th Tigers ever to hit 1,000 kills when she achieved the feat in a loss to East Carolina on Nov. 5. The San Antonio native is third on the team with 365 kills and a career-high 244 digs. She also has a career-high 42 digs, which ranks second on the squad behind teammate and league-leader Shelby Burton. She has downed 10 or more kills in 24 matches this season, including putting away a season-high 22 kills versus Rice on Sept. 24. Liford, who has posted seven double-doubles this year, has made 12 or more kills in each of the last eight matches.
"I'm excited for Ashley to receive recognition for excelling in the classroom and on the court," said head coach Carrie Yerty. "She embodies what a student-athlete should be in college athletics. Her hard work and determination has definitely paid off with the type of year she has had."
Five seniors, three juniors and three sophomores make up the 2006 All-Academic Volleyball Team. East Carolina senior Heidi Krug, who earlier in the season became ECU's all-time leader in assists, has maintained a 4.0 GPA in biology and was the only unanimous pick.
Houston teammates Millicent Martin and Krystal Schulle were named to the all-academic team. Martin, a communications and public relations major, is one of six Cougars to average more than 2.00 digs per game and holds a cumulative 3.80 GPA. Schulle was a defensive specialist before moving to setter in September and leads the team in assists per game. She carries a 3.64 GPA in biology. Houston is the host of the 2006 C-USA Volleyball Championship that begins today.
Rice placed its junior setter and senior middle blocker on the academic squad, as both Rachel Lopez and Tessa Kuykendall were recognized. Lopez was a member of the 2005-06 C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll and was named her team's Scholar-Athlete of the Year last season as well. She has a 3.72 GPA in economics and managerial studies. Kuykendall was also on last season's Commissioner's Honor Roll and is Rice's all-time blocking leader. The senior carries a 3.33 GPA in bioengineering.
Marshall's Christin Bimberg and UTEP's Katie Smith round out the seniors on the team. Bimberg was recently selected as an ESPN the Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District selection and carries a 3.91 GPA in international affairs. Smith was a Commissioner's Honor Roll honoree last season and is a kinesiology major with a 3.64 GPA.
Liford and Julia Silva of Tulsa were the other juniors named to the squad. Silva has been a member of the TU Dean's Honor Roll every semester and registered three triple-doubles this season.
Two sophomores finalize the 11-member all-academic team. Southern Miss' Ashley Petrinec and UAB's Casey Dent were both just named ESPN the Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District selections. Petrinec has a 4.0 GPA in mathematics and computer science and ranks second for the Golden Eagles averaging 2.30 kills per game. Dent has been named to the Dean's List both semesters she has been at UAB and leads her team in blocks with 88. She holds a 3.82 GPA in business.
Memphis will get its 2006 Conference USA Championship run underway on Friday at 7 p.m. when it faces the winner of the (6)ECU/(11)UTEP match.
2006 C-USA VOLLEYBALL ALL-ACADEMIC TEAM
Name School Class GPA Major Heidi Krug East Carolina Sr. 4.00 Biology Krystal Schulle Houston So. 3.64 Biology Millicent Martin Houston Sr. 3.80 Communications and PR Christin Bimberg Marshall Sr. 3.91 International Affairs Ashley Liford Memphis Jr. 3.71 Marketing Management Tessa Kuykendall Rice Sr. 3.33 Bioengineering Rachel Lopez Rice Jr. 3.72 Economics/Managerial Studies Ashley Petrinec Southern Miss So. 4.00 Mathematics/Computer Science Julia Silva Tulsa Jr. 3.30 Marketing Casey Dent UAB So. 3.82 Pre-Business Katie Smith UTEP Sr. 3.64 Kinesiology