Photo | Courtesy of Spring Hill College
Spring Hill College middle hitter Kassandra Fairly (No. 5) has been named to the 2021 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-America Honorable Mention team. Photos courtesy Spring Hill College.
Spring Hill College (SHC) recorded another excellent women’s volleyball campaign. The Badgers finished the season with a 30-6 overall record including their fifth consecutive undefeated season in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) and a berth in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II national playoffs.
Much of this success can be attributed to the play of middle hitter Kassandra Fairly. She has been named to the 2021 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-America Honorable Mention team.
This marks her first All-America nod. She previously appeared on the AVCA All-South Region squads in 2019 and 2021. SHC did not compete during 2020 because of COVID-19.
“I’m beyond blessed and excited to receive this honor,” Fairly told Lagniappe. “I wouldn’t be able to do what I love without my teammates, coaches and family that surround me.”
The senior from Fort Walton Beach, Fla., has 1,126 career kills in 2,302 attempts for a .388 career attack percentage. She has collected 31 assists, 62 service aces, 210 (51 of 159) total blocks, and 264 digs for 1,318.5 career points in her career. Fairley, who is majoring in journalism, led the SIAC in hitting percentage.
Fairly is a two-time SHC Female Athlete of the Year, three-time SIAC first-team All-Conference member, a three-time member of the SIAC Commissioner’s All-Academic Team, as well as the 2018 and 2021 SIAC Player of Year and the 2018 SIAC Tournament MVP.
She was a 2019 D2CCA All-South Region second-team member, the 2018 SIAC Freshman of the Year, and the 2019 and 2021 Pre-Season SIAC Offensive Player of the Year. In November, she was named to the District 5 All-Academic Team for NCAA Division II.
“We are really proud of Kassandra and thankful that she was recognized for all the hard work she has put in,” SHC head coach Peggy Martin told Lagniappe. “This is a well-deserved honor for a great athlete and an even better person.”
USA’s Wilson honored
The University of South Alabama’s (USA) Gracie Wilson has been selected to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America Division I women’s soccer team. This is Wilson’s first All-America selection, as she paced South Alabama with 11 goals, 10 assists and 32 points this season.
“We are so proud of Gracie and all her accomplishments,” USA head coach Richard Moodie told Lagniappe. “Simply put, she is a champion. For those that don’t know her, she trains, studies and competes at a championship level, pushing the boundaries every day. She is our captain and a true representation of what it takes to be a Jag.”
The junior led the Sun Belt Conference (SBC) in points, points per game (1.65), and game-winning goals (six). She ranked second in the conference in goals, assists and assists per game (0.47). She helped the Jaguars to their third consecutive conference tournament title this fall while earning MVP honors. USA finished 12-5-3 and advanced to the NCAA national tournament.
The Conyers, Ga., native is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology while holding a 4.0 cumulative grade-point average. She was named to the SBC Commissioner’s list each of the last two years.
The 2019 Sun Belt Freshman of the Year, 2021 Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year has been named first-team all-conference in each of the past three seasons, while helping the Jags to three straight NCAA Tournament appearances.
In order to be considered for Academic All-America honors, student-athletes must be chosen to an academic all-district team. Wilson earned recognition in District 4 for the second straight year in November.
In November, Wilson was named to the United Soccer Coaches second-team all- Southeast Region. She was also first-team all-conference and the MVP at the conference championship after scoring the lone goal against Georgia Southern in the title match. She is the first Jaguar in program history to receive a second-team selection in the Southeast region and the 19th to earn All-Region honors from the United Soccer Coaches.
UM soccer distinctions
- The men’s soccer team at the University of Mobile received numerous honors at the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) awards banquet.
Alejo Binaghi earned Player of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year and Golden Boot honors after leading the conference with 20 goals and 46 points on the season. Binaghi was second in goals and points scored in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
Defender Angel Almiron earned Defensive Player of the Year honors and goalkeeper Antoine Bedos earned Golden Gloves honors after Mobile allowed only nine goals during the regular season. Almiron recorded three goals and two assists as a defender and Bedos notched 45 saves in 13 matches played on the year.
Rodrigo Paredes was the SSAC Newcomer of the Year after playing in 14 games and tallying five goals and 12 points.
Daniel Whelan earned Coach of the Year honors for the third time in his career at Mobile. This season, Whelan has led his program to a 18-3-1 overall record, the SSAC Men’s Soccer Regular Season Championship and the runner-up spot in the NAIA national tournament.
Almiron, Bedos, Maxime Benoit, Binaghi, Joshua Bynoe, Sebastian Jorgge, Rodrigo Paredes and Jose Sanabria were all selected to the SSAC first-team all-conference team. Baptiste Gateau and Emman Rahimi were named SSAC second-team all-conference selections.
Obed Asare was selected as Mobile’s representative on the SSAC Champions of Character Team for showing the best attitude and sportsmanship throughout the season.
- The UM women were also honored. For the second-straight year, junior Anakah Madril earned a place on the SSAC second-team all-conference team. In the year, she started all 17 matches for the Rams and shared the team lead in goals scored with five.
Freshman Nana Sofie Kumai Bjerre was selected to the SSAC All-Freshman Team this year after starting all 17 matches. Senior Alexis Knott was selected as Mobile’s representative on the SSAC Champions of Character Team.
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