COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M middle blockers Jazzmin Babers and Shelby Sullivan were named to the 2014 All-SEC Volleyball Team, and setter Stephanie Aiple and opposite hitter Ashlie Reasor were named to the SEC All-Freshman Team, the conference office announced today. In addition, Sullivan was named the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, along with Holly Pole of Florida and Carly Kan of Missouri.
Babers leads the SEC with a .459 hitting percentage in conference matches only. She has posted double-digit kills in 10 of the last 11 matches and in 14 matches overall and is hitting .409 for the full season, ranking 15th in the nation and second in the SEC as the Aggies enter their final week of the regular season.
The sophomore from Bowling Green, Ohio, who has started every match of her career and last year became the first A&M player to be named to the SEC all-freshman team, also is fifth in the league with 1.06 blocks per set in SEC matches only and 1.18 blocks per set for the full season. Earlier this year, Babers set a school record with 13 block assists against UTSA (Aug. 30). Her 14 total blocks against the Roadrunners ties for second in the A&M record books and is the most by an SEC player this season.
Sullivan, from Richardson, Texas, is making her second consecutive appearance on the all-SEC team after also receiving the honor as a sophomore. The team captain is second on the team and seventh in the SEC with a .384 hitting percentage in league matches. She also ranks 10th in the SEC in blocks (0.93), 11th in points (3.49) and 15th in kills (2.80) per set. Sullivan has posted double-figure kills in a team-leading 17 matches, including in eight of the last 11 matches, and she has led or tied for the team high in kills in a team-best 10 matches.
In A&M’s SEC season opener against Auburn, Sullivan hit a career-high .826, setting an A&M SEC record and a Reed Arena record for hitting percentage when making 10 or more attack attempts. She also broke A&M records for kills (20) and points (25.0) in a three-set SEC match in the sweep against the Tigers. Her .826 hitting percentage continues to be the highest by an SEC player this year when having a minimum of 12 kills, and her 25 points are still the most by an SEC player in a three-set match this season.
Sullivan, the first A&M player to be named SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, is an accounting major who sports a 3.85 grade-point average. She recently was named to the Capital One Academic All-District Second Team by the College Sports Information Directors Association.
Aiple is a three-time SEC Freshman Player of the Week honoree and earlier this season became the first A&M player to be named ESPNW National Player of the Week after leading the Aggies to victories over both No. 6 Southern California and No. 13 San Diego.
The Round Rock, Texas, native is the top freshman setter in the league, leading all rookie setters and ranking fifth overall in the conference with 10.76 assists per set for the full season. Aiple also leads all freshmen setters in the conference and ranks sixth overall in conference matches only with 10.78 assists per set. Aiple dished out 48 assists against No. 13 Kentucky on Oct. 5, an A&M record for a three-set SEC match and the most assists by an SEC player in a three-set match this season.
Aiple, who surpassed 1,000 digs in the win against Missouri on Sunday and also tallied her team-leading seventh double-double of the season, directs an A&M offense that ranks fourth in the SEC and 29th in the nation with a .261 hitting percentage for the full season.
Reasor, a lefty from San Antonio, has played in every match this season at the opposite hitter position. She is averaging 2.16 kills and 2.55 points per set for the full season while hitting .246. Reasor, who has posted double-figure kills in 11 matches, tallied a career-high 15 kills in the 3-1 victory over No. 16 Kentucky.
The All-SEC Team is an 18-member team voted on by the league’s head coaches, while the freshman team consists of seven members. No ties are broken.
Texas A&M (19-8, 11-5 SEC), the only team to land more than one player on the all-freshman team, is currently tied for fourth with Alabama in the league standings after begin predicted to finish sixth according to a preseason vote of the league’s head coaches. The Aggies are back in action tonight at Mississippi State and then conclude the regular season at Ole Miss on Friday. First serve against the Bulldogs is a 7 p.m. at the Newell-Grissom Building in Starkville, Miss., and the match against the Rebels begins at 4 p.m. at the Gillom Sports Center in Oxford. Both matches will be broadcast on SEC Network +, available on WatchESPN.
The following is the complete list of 2014 SEC volleyball awards:
Player of the Year: Alex Holston, Florida
Libero of the Year: Jackie Napper, Kentucky
Freshman of the Year: Rhamat Alhassan, Florida
Scholar-Athletes of the Year: Holly Pole, Florida; Carly Kan, Missouri; Shelby Sullivan, Texas A&M
Coach of the Year: Mary Wise, Florida
Kat Hutson, Alabama
Krystal Rivers, Alabama
Chanell Clark-Bibbs, Alabama
Meredith Hays, Alabama
Rhamat Alhassan, Florida
Simone Antwi, Florida
Mackenzie Dagostino, Florida
Alex Holston, Florida
Gabby Mallette, Florida
Morgan Bergren, Kentucky
Jackie Napper, Kentucky
Lauren O’Conner, Kentucky
Anni Thomasson, Kentucky
Briana Holman, LSU
Cati Leak, LSU
Nakeyta Clair, Ole Miss
Shelby Sullivan, Texas A&M
Jazzmin Babers, Texas A&M
Kat Hutson, Alabama
Rhamat Alhassan, Florida
Kaz Brown, Kentucky
Gina Tillis, LSU
Payton Harris, Mississippi State
Stephanie Aiple, Texas A&M
Ashlie Reasor, Texas A&M