Spartan Volleyball Senior Duo Earns A-Sun Academic and All-Conference Honors
MACON, Ga. – Senior Morgan Thomas (Plantation, Fla.) of the USC Upstate volleyball team was named to the All-Atlantic Sun Conference Second Team as announced today by the conference office, becoming the first all-conference selection in program history, while senior Kelsie Queen (Blythewood, S.C.) earned Academic All-Conference team honors.
Thomas led the Spartans this season in hitting, tallying 327 kills to average 3.17 per set. She has a hitting percentage of .246, while playing in every match this season. She has posted 17 double-digit kill performances this season, including nine 15-plus kill efforts. Thomas finished the season, putting together a streak of eight-straight double-figure kill matches. The middle blocker also led the defensive charge at the net for Upstate this season, recording 21 solo blocks and 45 assisted rejections for 66 total denials. Mostly a front-row player, Thomas has collected 75 digs on the year to go along with 12 service aces and seven assists.
"Thomas came in this year with a different focus," said Upstate head coach Jennifer Calloway. "She stayed over the summer to prepare and it paid off. She carried our team through thick and thin. With 11 of the 14 all-conference selections coming from our north division, that clearly tells you how stout our A-Sun division was. I love playing those top tier teams twice and the coaches seeing the value of her domination. Even knowing she was out go-to player, she still succeeded. What a way to go out and be out first A-Sun All-Conference player. I couldn't be happier for her."
Queen boasts a 3.83 GPA, while majoring in psychology and minoring in religious studies. She saw action in every match this season for the Spartans. The outside hitter registered 165 kills this season, averaging 1.62 kills per set. Queen had four double-digit kill performances this season, including a season-high 16 kills at Radford Sept. 2. She collected a season-high 10 digs against Western Carolina Sept. 17. She's scooped up 103 digs, averaging 1.01 per set, while posting 21 total blocks. Queen also recorded 14 assists and seven service aces.
"Kelsie has always been so mature with such a strong work ethic," Calloway said. "She is highly responsible and led by example. What a great role model she is and a bright future awaits her. I am happy the A-Sun is acknowledging the hard work in the classroom as well as on the court. Such a well-deserved honor for her."
The A-Sun introduced the new sport-by-sport Academic All-Conference teams this fall to recognize student-athletes who embody the conference's mission of Building Winners for Life. All the members of the team boast a 3.30 cumulative grade point average (GPA) or better and participated in at least half of their team's matches.