4 Volleyball Players Earn USA South Awards

The USA South Athletic Conference has announced its 2021 All-Conference awards for volleyball. Individually, the Southern Virginia duo of Courtney Pinkston and Sydney Hopkin were named Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year, respectively, while Berea’s Fabiana De Jesus earned Libero of the Year honors and Maryville’s Kandis Schram collected Coach of the Year accolades. Additionally, the USA South recognized an All-Sportsmanship Team, consisting of one member from each competing school who their coach felt displayed the best sportsmanship this season.

All awards are voted on by the volleyball coach at each institution. The divisional team voting is completed only by those coaches in the particular division. The all-conference and individual award voting is completed by all coaches.

Pinkston, a junior outside hitter from Gilbert, Arizona becomes the first Knight, in the program’s first season within the Conference, to be named USA South Player of the Year in the sport of volleyball. She currently leads the League in kills (409), kills per set (3.79), points (482.5) and points per set (4.5). Pinkston also sits second in total attacks (1,108) and sixth in service aces (60). Against USA South opponents, Pinkston led the way with 264 kills, 4.00 kills per set, 712 attacks, 311.0 points, and 4.7 points per set. She collects First Team All-Conference and First Team East Division accolades to go along with being named USA South Player of the Week once during the fall.

Hopkin, a freshman outside hitter from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, becomes the first Knight, in the program’s first season within the Conference, to be named USA South Rookie of the Year in the sport of volleyball. Currently, Hopkin is averaging 2.68 kills and 0.95 digs per set and has compiled a rookie-best 289 kills to rank eighth in the Conference. Against USA South competition-only, Hopkin led all rookies in kills (191) and kills per set (2.89) as each of those two figures placed her in the top-five among all League players. For her efforts this season, Hopkin received Second Team East Division honors while being named USA South Rookie of the Week once.

De Jesus, a senior libero from Caguas, Puerto Rico becomes the first Berea volleyball student-athlete to earn an individual “of the Year” honor. De Jesus leads the Conference with 648 digs, more than 100 more than the player sitting in second. Additionally, De Jesus is averaging the second-most digs per set in the Conference with 5.40 to go along with 0.78 assists per set. Against Conference foes this fall, De Jesus compiled 308 digs, good for a 5.50 per set average to go along with an average of 0.80 assists per set. Finally, De Jesus was selected First Team West Division for the second consecutive season while being named USA South Defensive Player of the Week twice.

Schram, in her 36th year leading Maryville, earns her fourth USA South Volleyball Coach of the Year honor. The Scots captured the USA South’s West Division championship, the program’s fourth regular season title, after posting another unblemished mark in Conference action. With this fall’s 16-0 USA South record, the Scots have now completed the last three seasons without dropping a Conference match. Maryville’s current League winning streak is now at 38 matches. Overall, the Scots boast a 21-8 record and head into the USA South Tournament semifinals as the West’s top seed, looking to capture the tournament crown for the second consecutive time, not counting last year’s COVID-altered divisional title, which would be the fourth in program history.

Player of the Year

Rookie of the Year

Libero of the Year

Coach of the Year

Courtney Pinkston
Southern Virginia

Sydney Hopkin
Southern Virginia

Fabiana De Jesus

Kandis Schram

The 2021 USA South Volleyball All-Conference Team:  

First Team All-Conference

Lauren Bissette, Meredith
Meredith Bonee, Maryville
Hannah Collier, William Peace
Deanna De La Torre, Berea
Emma Kalbfleisch, Covenant
Courtney Pinkston, Southern Virginia
Elle Warnick, Southern Virginia

First Team East Division

Second Team East Division

First Team West Division

Second Team West Division

Lauren Bissette, Meredith
Whitney Bolton, Meredith
Avery Bowman, Meredith
Hannah Collier, William Peace
Courtney Pinkston, Southern Virginia
Sarah Shropshire, Averett
Elle Warnick, Southern Virginia

Morgan Barnes, Averett
Sydney Hopkin, Southern Virginia
Lauren Phillips, Meredith
Mackenzie Russell, William Peace
Emma Steiger, Southern Virginia
Lauren Weaver, N.C. Wesleyan
Reagan Wyatt, Pfeiffer

Rachel Bartlett, Covenant
Meredith Bonee, Maryville
Fabiana De Jesus, Berea
Deanna De La Torre, Berea
Morgan Ilsley, Huntingdon
Emma Kalbfleisch, Covenant
Isabella Samson, Maryville

Jordan Hollis, Huntingdon
Ashley Hoxit, Brevard
Grace Logterman, Covenant
Kamea Nash, Huntingdon
Kaitlyn Pressley, Brevard
Carolina Robles, Berea
Brooklyn Wallet, Maryville

All-Sportsmanship Team
Carmen Ross, Agnes Scott
Emma Nash, Averett
Destiny Easley, Berea
Abbey Duncan, Brevard
Riley Howe, Covenant
Sabrina Kerr, Greensboro
Jessi Hilyer, Huntingdon
Kirsten Boyd, LaGrange
Megan Andrews, Mary Baldwin
Riley Layton, Maryville
Bailey Lucas, Meredith
Hannah Hewett, Methodist
Emily Elston, N.C. Wesleyan
Emily Cole, Pfeiffer
Jaclyn Sampson, Piedmont
Nikita Sizemore, Salem
Taryn Kartchner, Southern Virginia
Jaylyn Randle, Wesleyan
Keslee Hylton, William Peace

Huntingdon College, Volleyball