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SPARTANNBURG, S.C. – Senior Ashley Muench (Hurdle Mills, N.C./Orange) was named the Southern Conference’s Co-Player of the Year with Wofford’s Catie Cronister, marking the first time in league history that two player’s share the award. This is the fourth All-SoCon honor after being the Freshman of the Year in her rookie season, and now has earned first team All-SoCon honors in three-straight seasons. This is the first time a UNCG player has earned the SoCon’s Player of the Year Award.

Allison Penner (Aurora, Neb./Aurora) earned her second-straight first team All-Southern Conference honor and freshman Holly Behrends (Oswego, Ill./Oswego) was named to the SoCon All-Freshman team.

Muench led the Spartans with 369 kills, marking the third-straight season that she has led the team in kills. She added 279 digs, 54 blocks and 29 services aces during the season, and scored 15 double-doubles during the 2017 season. Her 3.58 kills per set average is sixth in the league.

Penner led the Spartans in assists for the third-straight season. The junior assisted 1,150 attacks on the season, good for a 10.45 assists per set average. Penner added 2.60 digs per set on the season, going for 14 double-doubles on the year.

Behrends was second on the team with 258 kills, averaging 2.55 per set. The freshman has played in 101 sets this season, and earned a 1.58 digs per set average. She blocked 48 opponent attacks on the year and was responsible for 290 points.

Furman led all SoCon teams with five honorees, three of which earned second team honors. UNCG’s three selections are tied for the second most in the league.

2017 All-Southern Conference Volleyball Teams and Awards

Co-Players of the Year – Ashley Muench, UNCG, Sr., OH; Catie Cronister, Wofford, So., OH

Libero of the Year – Marija Popovic, ETSU, Fr.

Rayna Taylor Freshman of the Year – Marija Popovic, ETSU, LIB  

Coach of the Year – Michelle Young, Furman 

All-SoCon First Team

Leah Clayton, ETSU, So., OH

Rylee Milhorn, ETSU, Sr., OH

Jamila Johnson, Furman, Jr., OH

Ashley Muench, UNCG, Sr., OH

Allison Penner, UNCG, Jr., S

Catie Cronister, Wofford, So., OH

Colleen Reilly, Wofford, Jr., MB 

All-SoCon Second Team

Meg DeMaar, Furman, Sr., L

Nicole Mack, Furman, So., OH

Christen Sikora, Furman, Sr., OH

Paige Alsten, Mercer, Jr., MB

Krista Boesing, Samford, Jr., OH

Ally Ford, Chattanooga, R-So., OH

Katie O’Connor, Western Carolina, Sr., MB

All-Freshman Team

Sharlissa De Jesus, The Citadel, OH

Marija Popovic, ETSU, L

Courtney Hoffman, Furman, MB

Holly Behrends, UNCG, OH

Megan Kaufman, Chattanooga, L

MaKenzie White, Western Carolina, MB

Riley Coonan, Wofford, MB 

The Spartans return to the court this Friday as they’ll take on the Chattanooga Mocs in the SoCon Tournament quarterfinals in Cullowhee, N.C. at 7:30 p.m.