STEPHENVILLE – For the third time in program history, Tarleton was recognized as the top team in the Lone Star Conference at the annual LSC postseason awards banquet at City Hall at the Agave. In addition to the team recognition, six TexAnns and head coach Mary Schindler earned postseason accolades.
“I’m just so proud of these girls,” said Schindler. “They have put in so much hard work and deserve every bit of the recognition they’ve received. We’ll celebrate these awards tonight, but tomorrow starts a brand-new season and nothing matters except the matches directly in front of us. We’re excited for the next chapter of our season.”
Tarleton finished the regular season as the outright Lone Star Conference Champions for the second straight year and will host the LSC Tournament Championship in Wisdom Gym, beginning tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. against Eastern New Mexico. The TexAnns are also in the driver’s seat to host the NCAA South Central Region Tournament Nov. 15-17 for the first time in school history. The TexAnns also boasted the nation’s longest winning streak this year at 24 matches.
Hannah McManus capped off a career year by being named All-LSC First Team and the league’s Defensive Player of the Year. Schindler also earned one of the league’s top honors with her fourth LSC Coach of the Year recognition.
McManus, a senior from Caldwell, Texas, has been among the national leaders in total blocks and blocks per set all year. She finishes the regular season as the conference leader in both categories with 146 total blocks and 1.39 blocks per set. She was a three-time LSC Player of the Week, including two defensive honors. She landed 201 kills on a .314 hit percentage for the regular season. She joins Nikki McNorton (2012) and Kenya Alexander (2014) as the only players in program history to earn the LSC Defensive Player of the Year honor.
Joining McManus on the All-LSC First Team was Adriana Darthuy.
Darthuy, a junior from Marseille, France, led Tarleton in kills as the only player with over 300 for the season (306). She led the team with nine double-doubles and had 16 matches with double-digit kills, including a season-high 17 on two different occasions. In addition to her offensive game, Darthuy was tied for the team lead with 38 service aces, had 49 blocks, and 305 digs. She also led the team with 370.5 points in the regular season.
Tarleton had three players named to the All-LSC Second Team – Adrianna Knutson, Blanca Izquierdo, and Amber Strange.
Knutson, a senior libero from San Antonio, earned her third career All-LSC selection and second All-LSC Second Team selection after leading Tarleton to new heights as the defending LSC Champions and top-seeded team in the region. The defensive specialist led the team with 471 digs for an average of 4.49 per set. Led by Knutson, the Tarleton defense held opposing teams to a .139 hitting percentage for the season.
Blanca Izquierdo, a senior setter from Madrid, Spain, earns her first career All-LSC nod after leading the team with 635 assists in Tarleton’s 6-2 offense. Izquierdo was a three-time LSC Setter of the Week and led the Tarleton offense to a league-high .256 hitting percentage as a team. She also had seven double-doubles, 203 total digs, and tied Darthuy for the team lead in service aces (38).
Amber Strange, a sophomore from Granbury, earns her second All-LSC recognition in as many seasons of her collegiate career. Strange moved from the middle to the outside and was a crucial piece of the TexAnn offense, landing 256 kills on a .246 hitting percentage to go along with 54 blocks and 55 digs. She had 15 matches with double-digit kills, including four straight to end the regular season.
Rounding out the Tarleton all-conference teams was freshman Lauren Kersey, who was tabbed Honorable Mention All-LSC after her debut season. The newcomer from Norman, Oklahoma boasted 236 kills as a true freshman and led all of Tarleton’s outside hitters with a .286 hitting clip. She also had 48 digs and 73 blocks on the year.
In addition to the awards handed out for the on-court success, the Lone Star Conference also recognized two TexAnns for their work in the classroom as Adrianna Knutson and Hannah McManus were named Academic All-LSC. For Knutson, this is the second straight year to be on the LSC All-Academic team.
The All-Academic team is selected by the league’s sports information directors, who select players based on both athletic and academic achievement. To be eligible for LSC academic honors, student-athletes must have played in at least 50 percent of team’s contests, reached sophomore athletic and academic standing, completed at least one full academic year at the nominating institution, and have a minimum 3.30 cumulative grade point average based on the 4.0 system for his/her entire collegiate career.
Tarleton will begin its postseason run tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. in Wisdom Gym with the quarterfinals of the LSC Championship Tournament against Eastern New Mexico. Tickets are on sale at TarletonSports.com/Tickets and LSC students with a valid ID will receive free admission to the tournament.