HAMDEN, Conn. - Quinnipiac University Volleyball Head Coach Robin Sparks has announced the team's yearly awards, as voted on by team members. Sophomore outside hitter Kelby Carey (Surfside Colony, Calif.) earned Team MVP, while freshman Taylor Payne (Warwick, N.Y.) and graduate student Erin Overdevest (Bridgeton, N.J.) were named Most Improved and Most Inspirational, respectively. In addition, sophomore setter Kayla Lawler (Richmond, Ind.) has been named team captain for the 2010 season.
Carey led the Bobcats in kills (317) and service aces (23), while also finishing second on the team in digs (277) in 2009. She also compiled a team-best 12 double-doubles. Carey tallied career-highs in kills with 24 twice, as the Bobcats defeated St. Francis (N.Y.) and Saint Francis (Pa.), both in five sets. In the Saint Francis (Pa.) match to close the season, Carey also added a career-high 21 digs.
"With all her hard work in the off-season, Kelby Carey really shined on the court for us this year," said Sparks. "I look forward to seeing her continue to develop the next two seasons."
Payne originally was going to redshirt, but was pressed into action in her freshman year. Despite playing out of position for most of the year, her improvement was evident. She finished second on the team with 36 blocks for the season, including four in the Bobcats' five-set victory over Saint Francis (Pa.) on Nov. 15.
"Not many people could do what Taylor Payne accomplished this season," said Sparks. "We had originally planned on redshirting her this past year; but, she had to step in and fill some big shoes for us instead. Her development all season was astonishing - even while she was playing out of position most of the season. She was a key player in our last win of the season."
Overdevest served as team captain as a graduate student, after sitting out her senior season due to injury. She ranked fourth on the team in both digs (189) and service aces (17). She reached double-digits in digs on nine difference occasions this past season. Sparks credits Overdevest's leadership, both on and off the court, with setting a great presence for the team.
"Trying to think of words to describe what Erin Overdevest has meant to this program is very difficult," said Sparks. "She served as a captain this past season after missing her senior year because of shoulder surgery. She was amazing - and her leadership on and off the court set a great example for the team. Not only did she work hard in the gym and weight room - she managed to keep her academics at the highest standard. I couldn't have asked for more from her, and her teammates recognized that as well by naming her the most inspirational."
Lawler has served as floor captain as the Bobcats' setter since her freshman year and gets the nod as team captain for her junior campaign. She piled up 785 assists in 2009, while also finishing second on the team in service aces (21). Her 168 digs also ranked fifth. She came a kill away from her first-career triple-double, Oct. 9 at St. Francis (N.Y.), totaling nine kills, a career-high 53 assists and 12 digs. Her 42-assist, 16-dig, six-assist performance, Nov. 15 against Saint Francis (Pa.) was also instrumental in a Bobcats victory.
"Kayla Lawler has been a leader for us since she arrived on campus," said Sparks. "Naming her a captain is just an extension to what she already has done for us. Her dedication to the sport, the team, and the program are evident in everything she does."