Ballard scoops up all-region honor

Ballard scoops up all-region honor

D2CCA Release

WINGATE, N.C. – To a add to a lineage of awards in her first season at Carson-Newman, sophomore libero Morgan Ballard was named to the Division II Conference Commissioner's Association All-Southeast Region team announced Tuesday morning to become the first libero in school history to earn a spot on an all-region club.

"It's really an honor to be a part of such an amazing program and team," Ballard said. "I couldn't have done anything without the girls, coaches and support system by my side. God is so good!"

The sophomore led the league in digs per set with 6.99 ranking third in the nation a mark that would be the top mark in the history of the program passing Young's tally of 6.79 in 2004.

With 790 total digs on the year, the Weaverville, N.C. native is the SAC leader and ranks second nationally. The figure is good for second on the school's ledger, 66 behind Young's 856 in 2004.

Ballard has registered the two highest dig tallies in Division II including a league record 58 digs in a four-set victory over Mars Hill on Sept. 9, 2017 that was the 10th-most in the history of NCAA volleyball. The previous league mark was set by Jenny Young of Catawba versus Tusculum on Sept. 17, 2011 in a five-set outing. Caitlyn Dean held the mark for a SAC athlete in a four-set affair when she racked up 47 for the Pioneers against Anderson (S.C.) on Oct. 27, 2012.

After recording 53 versus Augusta Oct. 14, the sophomore has three of the top six dig efforts in Division II in 2017. She has five matches with at least 40 scoops this season leading the team in passing 28 times.

The Wofford transfer became the first Carson-Newman libero to be named first-team All-South Atlantic Conference since 2005 when Blaire Young was picked to the top unit for the second consecutive season as Ballard becomes the 23rd Eagle to earn first-team honor.

Nominations and voting for the all-region groups are conducted by the region's sports information directors. In 2015, Molly Locke and Maddie Borch each picked up a second-team nod.

The region consists of athletes from the SAC, the Peach Belt Conference and Conference Carolinas as the SAC posted seven of the 14 players on the rosters.

The Eagles open up play in the NCAA Women's Volleyball Championships Thursday at noon in St. Augustine, Fla. against second-seeded Wingate. Follow @CNathletics on Twitter for updates with the game being stream on Flagler's YouTube channel.

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