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Emily or Abbie? AAC Player of the Year

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  • Emily or Abbie? AAC Player of the Year

    5 years ago Chris Lamb recruited a talented, smart, pretty blonde setter from Newton High School to be his setter of the future after serving a redshirt year apprenticing behind talented Shocker Sr. setter Chelsey Feekin. Emily lettered 4 years at Newton High School 20 miles north of Wichita in both basketball and volleyball and was 1st Team Class 5A All-State in Volleyball in her junior and senior years. Emily certainly has lived up to the expectations Lambo had for her when he recruited her. Today against SMU Emily passed the estimable Mary Elizabeth Hooper as the career assists leader at Wichita State. When Lambo was asked about this before the SMU match he basically said he didn't really need stats to tell him what Emily has meant to the Shockers and when this is all over he would have some things to say about Emily's career and her value as a Shocker.

    During the process of recruiting Emily he noticed another Newton High School player. A tall, skinny middle blocker who actually was the Kansas Sports.com 5A Basketball player of the year her senior season at Newton. In the summer of 2012 Lambo and his assistants listed 60 middle blockers to recruit. Abbie Lehman's name was not on the list. Abbie was a better basketball player in high school than a volleyball player. A post player who could really run the floor. Her likely next stop was to play basketball at Pitt State. However, after a summer volleyball camp Abbie attended at Wichita State Lambo had her listed as number 3 on his list. He had previously thought she wasn't powerful enough to play the MB position at the D-1 level. After that camp she changed his mind and he sold her on playing volleyball close to home at a good D-1 program. So Abbie changed her plans and joined her teammate Emily for a redshirt year at Wichita State in her case apprenticing behind Ashley Andrade and Elizabeth Field. Today against SMU Abbie became the career leader in total blocks at Wichita State and has been one of the most efficient and effective Shocker offensive players in school history.

    Both Emily and Abbie were and are excellent students.

    So we roll the clock forward 5 years and see that the two 5th year seniors from Newton High School have not only led the Shocker Volleyball team to great success in their playing careers but they have led the Shocks to an AAC Championship in the Shocker's inaugural season in the AAC at 18-0 with two games remaining and put the Shocks in a great position to complete an undefeated conference season with two wins over last place Memphis.

    I can not conceive of the AAC Volleyball Player of the Year award going to anyone other than Emily or Abbie. So which should it be. Personally what I would love to see is for Emily and Abbie to share this award as Co-Players of the Year in the AAC. My guess is that probably won't happen and my guess is it will go to Emily. After all the setter is the quarterback and Emily has pretty much been on the floor for every point Wichita State has played this season whereas Abbie does rotate in and out of the lineup as she moves to he back row then back into the front row.

    The thing with Emily and Abbie is that each of them makes the other a better player. Emily is better for having Abbie at her side and Abbie is better for having Emily at her side. They simply click as a pair as well as any two players who have played at Wichita State. Perhaps the best ever in that regard.

    As I have said before -- Thank you Newton!
    Last edited by 1972Shocker; November 20th, 2017, 09:43 AM.

  • #2
    Abbie has received her 5th consecutive AAC Player of the Week honor. 2 of those, including this weeks honor, have been Defensive Player of the Week and 3 for them have been Offensive Player of the Week. Kind of tells you how importan Abbie is to the Shocker cause.

    Emily is also on this week's honor roll. Kind of difficult for a setter to receive these weekiy awards. They don't get a lot of kills although Emily gets more than most setters, they don't get a lot of blocks although Emily gets more than most setters and they don't get a lot digs although Emily gets more than most setters.

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    • #3
      My guess is they give it to Abbie, but Emily might be a shade more deserving simply because she never takes a point off. Like 1972Shocker I'd love to see a shared title.

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      • flyingMoose
        flyingMoose commented
        Editing a comment
        Hmm. Those two clearly (I think) will get everyone's first and second place votes. In such an obvious case, might Lambo lobby (the other coaches? AAC front office?) to have the award shared?

    • #4
      Originally posted by WuDrWu View Post
      My guess is they give it to Abbie, but Emily might be a shade more deserving simply because she never takes a point off. Like 1972Shocker I'd love to see a shared title.
      Either player is very deserving. Good chance Abbie will win her 6th consecutive AAC Player of the Week Award (4 Offensive and 2 Defensive) which is impressive as hell. Can't imagine anyone else doing better than 16-0-23 and 11-0-15 for a combined 27-0-38 for a .711 hitting percentage this week. That's just kind of sick even against a very young Memphis team.

      To me have those two sharingt the honor as Co-Players of the Year just seems to make the most sense. I just don't know how you can make that happen. It would really be cool if that would happen.

      Of course a worse outcome would be for Emily and Abby to split their vote and then someone like Temple's Izzy Rapacz (an excellent player) sneaking past both of them in the voting. Not sure how the voting works. But when a team wins the conference by 5 games how can the POY not come from that team?

      If I was the Commissioner I would just circulate a petition among the voters to nominate Emily and Abbie as co-players of the year and then ask the voters to vote on that nomination, perhaps requiring a 75% super majority to pass. But so far they ain't asking for my opinion.

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      • #5
        Abbie needs to pick her game up a bit. She did not receive a 6th consecutive AAC player of the week award. 27-0-38 for a .711 hitting % plus 9 blocks over 6 sets just won't cut it. Abiie did make the honor roll however.

        http://theamerican.org/news/2017/11/...ll-honors.aspx

        Hopefully, Abbie can get back on her game in the NCAA Tournament.

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        • #6
          Originally posted by 1972Shocker View Post
          Abbie needs to pick her game up a bit. She did not receive a 6th consecutive AAC player of the week award. 27-0-38 for a .711 hitting % plus 9 blocks over 6 sets just won't cut it. Abiie did make the honor roll however.

          http://theamerican.org/news/2017/11/...ll-honors.aspx

          Hopefully, Abbie can get back on her game in the NCAA Tournament.
          I see the AAC is learning quickly from the Valley of Even playbook.

          Comment


          • #7
            Originally posted by Cdizzle View Post
            I see the AAC is learning quickly from the Valley of Even playbook.
            I think that probably was a factor with Abbie having won 5 consecutive offensive or defensive POW honors.

            That said UCF's Kristina Fisher, the AAC Offensive POW did have a very good pair of matches hitting 29-4-60 = .420. Honor roll member Tulsa's Emily Thorsen had 38 kills, 11 more than Abbie. However, it took UCF's Fisher 22 more swings to get her 2 kill advantage over Abbie and it took Tulsa's Thorsen 96 more swings than Abbie to rack up that 11 kill advantage. Kills net of errors were 27-0 = 27 for Abbie, 29-4 = 25 for Fisher and 38-16 = 22 for Thorsen. Hitting %'s were .711 for Abbie, .420 for Fisher and .164 for Thorsen. Kill %'s were .711 for Abbie, .483 for Fisher and .284 for Thorsen.
            Last edited by 1972Shocker; November 27th, 2017, 02:49 PM.

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            • #8
              Last year the last AAC match was played on Saturday (11/26/16) and the Volleyball Honors and Awards were announced on Tuesday (11/29/16). So we may get these awards as early as tomorrow.

              I think we may see Abbie Lehman as POY, Emily Hiebert as Setter of the Year and Lambo as Coach of the Year. I think Emily as SOY and Lambo as COY are slam dunks. Possible Emily might get the POY also. Hopefully, Abbie and Emily share that award but that is probably a long shot.

              In AAC play Abbie was #1 in hitting %, blocks per set and points per set and she was #2 in kills per set at 4.20 to Tulsa's Emily Thorsen's 4.44. However, Thorsen averaged 14.86 attacks per set which was more than double Abbie's 7.05 attacks per set. Emily was #1 in assists per set, #2 in hitting % and #19 in blocks per set.

              Obviously, Abbie and Emily will recieve 1st Team All-Conference Honors. Tabitha could also get 1st team honors but maybe not. If not I think both her and Mikaela will be 2nd teamers. I'm thinking the latter is more likely under a spread the wealth doctrine.

              My guess is Tulsa's Taylor Horsfall will win the Libero of the Year award.

              I suppose Giorgia could be in the mix for Freshman of the year although not sure if a Libero can win much other than the Libero of the year award. Giorgia was 3rd overall in digs per set. 4th in conference play. Maybe Erica Kostelac, Cincy's 6-2 Fr OH, gets this one. She was 8th in the league in points per set.
              Last edited by 1972Shocker; November 27th, 2017, 04:04 PM.

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              • #9
                AAC Awards

                Abbie - Player of the Year
                Emily - unanimous Setter of the Year
                Lambo - Coach of the Year

                Team Academic Excellence Award (highest GPA)

                Taylor Horsfall (Tulsa) - Libero of the Year
                Shelby Martin S (ECU) - Freshman of the Year

                First Team All-Conference
                Tabitha
                Emily unanimous
                Abbie unanimous
                Mikaela

                Twelve members total. Other unanimous selections are Kia Bright of UCF, Carly Nolan of Cincinnati and Izzy Rapacz of Temple.

                Second Team All Conference
                Giorgia

                Eight members total.
                Last edited by flyingMoose; November 28th, 2017, 09:28 AM.

                Comment


                • 1972Shocker
                  1972Shocker commented
                  Editing a comment
                  http://www.goshockers.com/news/2017/...ce-honors.aspx

                  Pretty impressive haul for the Lady Shocks and well deserved after winning the AAC by 5 games.

                  Very happy that both Tabitha and Mikaela made 1st Team All-Conference and a little surprised, but pleased, to see Giorgia on the 2nd Team.

                  Apparently, the AAC doesn't totally buy in ot the Valley of Even philosophy.

                  The only negative is that the Shocks will have to hire a moving company to haul all of this hardware to Wichita.

                  Congratulations to Lambo, Abbie, Emily, Mikaela, Tabitha and Giorgia. Now let's go earn a trip to State College, PA and see what we can do against the best the sport has to offer.

              • #10
                The Team Academic Excellence Award is a really nice Cherry on top of the Sundae for this outstanding group and just says so much about the character of this team over and above their outstanding ability on the volleyball court.

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                • #11
                  Lambo made an interesting comment on his radio show last night about Mikaela which highlights an important, but behind the scenes contribution to the team. He called her the team Mom of all team Moms.

                  Emily and Abbie are quiet and calm but have figured out how to make their points when needed.

                  Giorgia is the most anminated player on the team. You don't have to guess what she is feeling or thinking. But she is also very funny.
                  Last edited by 1972Shocker; November 29th, 2017, 05:55 PM.

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                  • #12
                    Newton, Kansas should be very proud. Anyone from Newton know if this is creating much buzz in Newton?

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                    • #13
                      Originally posted by 1972Shocker View Post
                      Giorgia is the most anminated player on the team. You don't have to guess what she is feeling or thinking. But she is also very funny.
                      True dat. Seriously, one of the many great things about this program is the willingness to interact with the fans, and one short year after barely understanding English, this young lady is laugh out loud hilarious and has a personality that fills the room.

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                      • #14
                        I just asked a daughter if there is much talk going on in Newton. She is a prosecutor in Newton

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                        • #15
                          Co-Players of the Year. WSU has been outstanding. Much props. Rooting hard for the Shocks in a sport I usually don't pay much attention to.

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