Lemau'u Voted SBC Defensive Player of the Year; Lyra and Adams All-ConferenceNovember 16, 2005 · MT Media Relations
Lemau's becomes the first player, since Middle Tennessee joined the Sun Belt, to win a specialty award. Lyra was voted on the Sun Belt First Team and Adams was named to the Sun Belt Second Team.
Lemau'u, who was also named to the Sun Belt Conference First Team, leads the Blue Raiders and the Sun Belt in digs with 520 and digs per game with 5.0. She has thrice been named the Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week and broke her own school record, with a previous mark of 508, for digs in a season.
"Alicia is an unsung hero for us, she is a very steady player and her passing lets us run our offense," said Head Coach Matt Peck. "I am thrilled for Alicia because her high-quality of play has kept us in and helped us win matches."
After being looked over for preseason accolades to start the season, Lyra used this as motivation to show the league what she could do. She succeeded. The junior, who has played three positions in three years, leads the Sun Belt and the team in kills with 578. She has also recorded double figure kills in all 29 matches the Blue Raiders have played this season.
"I think Andressa has proved to everyone that she is a very adaptable and flexible player," Peck said. "She has had a great season and she is one of the reasons we are competing for a conference title."
Adams is just one of two freshmen in the league to be recognized, with Western Kentucky's Megan Argabright being named to the first team. She became the first player in Middle Tennessee history and the second in the Sun Belt to be named AVCA National Player of the Week and ranks second on the team in kills with 314 and kills per game with 3.24.
"I think Ashley is having a great freshman season," Peck said. "Ashley does a lot of good things for our team and is a very relaxed and mature freshman."
Middle Tennessee opens the Sun Belt Tournament on Thursday as the No. 2 seed, the highest seed the Blue Raiders have earned since entering the Sun Belt, and will face No. 7 seed Arkansas State. The Blue Raiders defeated the Indians 3-1 in Jonesboro and shutout Arkansas State later in the season in Murfreesboro 3-0. Middle Tennessee will play Arkansas State at 5 p.m., although tournament action begins at 12 p.m. when top seeded Western Kentucky takes on No. 8 seed Troy.
Tournament action continues on Friday with the winner of the Western Kentucky and Troy match facing off with the winner of the Arkansas-Little Rock and North Texas at 5 p.m. The winner of the Middle Tennessee and Arkansas State match will do battle with the winner of the Denver and Florida International match at 7 p.m. The championship match will be held Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and will be televised on the Sun Belt Conference Regional television package with ESPN.
Live stats and streaming video will be offered throughout the tournament. Fans can check on the Sun Belt website at www.sunbeltsports.org or at www.GoBlueRaiders.com .
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