DENVER – In a career covered in accolades, outgoing senior Lauren Kersey has added one final award to her mantlepiece.
The 5-11 outside hitter was named to the All-Western Athletic Conference first team on Wednesday as voted on by the head coaches.
A Norman, Oklahoma native, Kersey was one of just five outside hitters and 11 players overall to receive first team honors.
She finished third among her conference peers in kills (381) and fourth in both hitting percentage (.333) and points scored (421.5). Kersey led Tarleton in all three categories as well as points per set (3.90) kills per set (3.50). Defensively, she was second on the team in total blocks (73).
The honor marks Kersey’s second set of All-Conference first team credentials. She first earned the distinction in March after leading the WAC in points (314) and kills (289) during the spring 2021 season – Tarleton’s first as a Division I program. Kersey is the first two-time first team All-Conference athlete in Tarleton’s WAC and D1 era.
The fall 2021 campaign saw Kersey at her most dominant in her four-year run in Purple and White. Kersey reached double-digit kills in 24 of Tarleton’s 29 matches. She eclipsed 15 kills on seven occasions and landed 20-or-more kills three times. Playing from the right side of the net, Kersey hit at-or-above .400 in nine matches and .300-or-better in all-but-10 of Tarleton’s outings.
She turned in perhaps the best offensive weekend Tarleton has seen in recent memory in the final two home matches of her career vs. Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston on Nov. 4-6. Kersey landed a combined 44 against just five errors for an astounding .464 hitting percentage. 20 of Kersey’s kills came in a thrilling five-set comeback victory over the Ladyjacks.
Earlier in the year, Kersey set career highs in points (26.5) and kills (25) vs. Texas State in a neutral site match at the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders Classic.
She notched season highs in kills, kills per set and points per set this. Fall despite the uptick in competition following Tarleton’s move from D2 and the Lone Star Conference.
Statistically, Kersey ranked among the nation’s best at her position. Kersey’s 381 kills were tied for 52nd nationally. She led all reclassifying players in the category.
Kersey departs Tarleton ranked fifth in program history in career kills (1,316). She also made history as one of just three outside hitters with 1,000 career kills to play alongside a teammate with 2,500 career assists when Kayla Brannon dished out the milestone dime at Incarnate Word on Sept. 22.
Wednesday’s accolade marked Kersey’s fourth set of All-Conference honors in her Texan career and fourth piece of recognition from the WAC. She was named to the All-Lone Star Conference honorable mention team as a freshman in 2018. As a sophomore, Kersey earned All-LSC second team and LSC Championship All-Tournament team honors. In 2021, she was twice named the TicketSmarter WAC Offensive Player of the Week, first on March 3 and most recently for the week of Oct. 25-31. Kersey was also chosen as the American Volleyball Coaches Association National Player of the Week on March 3.
Kersey is also a dedicated student, having picked up multiple academic All-Conference honors from the LSC and WAC. She will graduate in May with a degree in biology and intends to pursue a master’s program in prosthetics and orthotics.