Five Named All-Region: Edmond Player of Year, Lilley Freshman of Year

Leah Edmond (Vicky Graff Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The American Volleyball Coaches Association announced on Tuesday that five Kentucky volleyball players earned All-Southeast Region honors, with seniors Kaz Brown, Ashley Dusek and Emily Franklin, sophomore Leah Edmond and freshman Madison Lilley each on the 14-player list. Edmond was named the Region’s Player of the Year, while Lilley was named the Freshman of the Year.

Under head coach Craig Skinner, UK has earned 36 All-Region awards. Brown and Dusek have now won the honor three times, while Edmond appears on the list for the second straight season. Lilley’s Freshman of the Year award is the second time UK has garnered the award, as Edmond won it last season.

Edmond adds the All-Region Player of the Year honor to her All-Southeastern Conference award earlier this season. Edmond is averaging 4.53 kills per set, which is No. 14 in the nation. Edmond’s 498 kills thus far is the second-best single-season kill mark in the 25-point rally scoring era. Edmond’s totaled 10 or more kills in 26 matches this season, including twice in the NCAA Tournament. She’s also hit the 20-kill plateau nine times this season, and holds the 25-point rally scoring era for most kills in a three-set match with 21 at Arkansas. Her 22 terminations against WKU in the second round of the NCAA Tournament is the most in the Skinner era for an NCAA Tournament match

Edmond is averaging 1.95 digs per set, and has seven double-doubles this season. She leads the team in service aces with 39, and has posted 61 blocks.

Lilley brought home her second Freshman of the Year award after winning the league honor earlier this season. Lilley racked up 12 SEC Weekly honors, including nine SEC Setter of the Week awards. The Overland Park, Kansas, native is averaging 12.09 assists per set, the third-best average in the nation and the highest for a freshman. Lilley is the only Wildcat in the 25-point rally scoring era with 65 or more assists in a match, and has 18 matches with 40 or more.

Lilley is a catalyst for a team that is third in the nation in hitting percentage at .321 and fourth in the nation in kills per set at 15.01.

Brown also took home All-SEC honors earlier this season. She broke the 25-point rally scoring era career records in total blocks (562), blocks assists (499) and solo blocks (63) this season, and currently averages 1.21 blocks per set. Against WKU in the tournament, she was one block shy of a double-double with nine blocks, including one solo stuff.

The Waterloo, Iowa, native has been quite efficient this season, hitting a career-best .418, which is good for No. 8 in the nation and second best in the SEC. She’s averaging 2.45 kills per set, and recorded 14 on a .722 attacking clip in UK’s five-set win over WKU in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Dusek’s third appearance on the All-Region team matches her third straight SEC Libero of the Year honor, which she won earlier this season. She’s averaging 4.44 digs per set, which is just sixth in the conference, but coaches have game planned around her. At the end of the regular season, she led the league in multiple categories, including a passing average of 2.45 (three-point scale) and good pass percentage at 65.2 percent.

The East Bernard, Texas, native has double-digit digs in every match she’s started this season after returning from injury, and has five matches with 20 or more. Dusek has 78 matches with 10 or more digs in her career and has won two weekly SEC honors this season. She’s the fifth player under Skinner to log more than 1,000 career digs and is currently third in the 25-point rally scoring era with 1,542 digs.

Franklin earned her first All-Region honor to match her first All-SEC honor earlier this season. She’s second on the team in hitting percentage at .407 and has hit .500 or above 11 times. She had an 11-match streak where she hit over .400 earlier this season. Franklin’s clip is the third best in the SEC and 13th in the nation. She’s averaging 2.02 kills per set this season and has contributed 16 service aces.

The Mesa, Arizona, native is currently third in total blocks during the 25-point rally scoring era with 382 and her attacking percentage of .336 is fifth. This season, she’s averaging 0.96 block per frame.

Kentucky will continue postseason play on Friday against BYU in the round of 16. First serve is set for noon at Memorial Coliseum, and the match will be live on ESPNU.

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