SPECIAL TO THE FLASH
STEPHENVILLE (November 18, 2015) – The banner year for Tarleton Volleyball continued Wednesday night when seven different TexAnns and head coach Mary Schindler were honored among the best in the league.
Schindler and sophomore outside hitter Hailey Roberts took home top honors Wednesday night after being named the LSC Coach of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year, respectively.
Schindler claims her first honor from the league since 2008 and the second yearly award in school history, while Roberts takes her second superlative award in as many years with Tarleton after being named the LSC Freshman of the Year last season. She is the second TexAnn to win the top offensive honor in school history, joining co-award winner Stacie Murrah in 2013, and the first TexAnn to win the award outright.
“First of all, I only get to be coach of the year because of the amazing players on this team,” said Schindler. “As far as Hailey is concerned, I know she’s excited but, at the same time, she is focused on this tournament. She is so focused on the next game that the award stuff is just a bonus for her – even though she’s going to rack up a lot of them.”
Schindler led the team to its first Lone Star Conference championship and a new school record for wins in a season with 25. Her TexAnns are 15-1 in league play and have won 15 consecutive games against LSC opponents.
Meanwhile, Roberts has powered Tarleton with 645 kills on a .247 hitting percentage and a team-leading 742.5 points scored this season. She had five games this season with at least 30 kills, 16 games with at least 20 kills, and at least double-figure kills in all 30 games this season. She was a four-time Lone Star Conference Offensive Player of the Week and was also named first-team all-conference for the second consecutive season Wednesday night.
Her 645 kills is a new Tarleton single-season record, as she becomes the first player in school history with over 600 kills in a season. Roberts is 90 kills away from Sarah Butler’s record-setting season in 1999 of 735 kills in a single season.
Joining Roberts on the all-LSC first team was Kenya Alexander, who earned the first-team honor for the second straight year.
Alexander was a two-time LSC Defensive Player of the Week this season and led the team with 146 total blocks, which puts her No. 9 on the Tarleton single-season list. She has two double-doubles on the season and had 10 games with double-figure kills.
Tarleton had four players – Ayssa Garcia, Meg Umbel, Xzache Mathis, and Chandler Gow – recognized as second-team all-conference honorees, which is the most second-team selections for Schindler in her head coaching tenure.
Garcia and Umbel combined for three LSC Defensive Player of the Week awards throughout the regular season. Garcia led the team with 458 digs and had six games with at least 20, including a season-high 23 digs against Colorado State-Pueblo on Sept. 12. Meanwhile, Umbel wrapped up her collegiate career with career highs in hitting percentage (.316), assisted blocks (116), and total blocks (146).
Umbel, in addition to the second-team all-LSC honor, was named to the academic all-LSC squad alongside her teammate Macie Walker.
Umbel and Walker, four-year seniors from San Antonio and Hutto, were recognized for their efforts on and off the court by being named to the academic all-LSC team. Umbel boasts a 3.61 gpa as a biology major while Walker is a 3.86 student as a Kinesiology major.
“I’m so proud of Meg and Macie,” said Schindler. “They have been here for four years and it’s nice to see them rewarded. They take care of their business on and off the court and I’m very proud of them.”
Wrapping up the recognition were Mathis and Gow, who also received their first career postseason honors from the Lone Star Conference.
Mathis, a one-season transfer from Louisiana Tech, stepped right in and made an immediate impact this season. She has 273 kills on a .233 hitting percentage with 293.0 points scored.
Meanwhile, Gow has directed one of the league’s top offenses all season long.
The sophomore setter from Mansfield is a four-time LSC Setter of the Week this season and is one of only two TexAnns in school history with at least 1,200 assists in a season. With 1,256 dimes in the regular season, Gow is 78 assists from passing Christina Ortiz (1,333) for the single-season assist record at Tarleton. She also totaled 61 kills, 16 service aces, 215 digs, and 67 total blocks.
“It’s an honor for me to coach this wonderful group of girls,” said Schindler. “I truly feel like my entire team could have won an award.”
Tarleton will begin the Lone Star Conference championship tournament Thursday night in Wisdom Gym with the quarterfinal game against Eastern New Mexico at 7:30 p.m.