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Johnson, Von Lienen Named GSC Top 10

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The Gulf South Conference has named Arkansas Tech University's Matt Johnson and Sarah Von Lienen as winners of the GSC Top 10 student-athlete awards for the 2010-11 academic year.

Johnson was a senior member of the Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys baseball team during the recently completed season, while Von Lienen was a senior on the Arkansas Tech Golden Suns volleyball team in 2010.

According to a news release from the league office, the GSC Top 10 awards recognize the top five male and top five female student-athletes in the conference based on athletic, academic and extracurricular achievement.

The top male student-athlete and the top female student-athlete in the GSC as recommended by a committee of representatives from around the conference and selected by the league commissioner will receive the Commissioner's Trophy during a banquet in Birmingham, Ala., on Monday, June 20.

A center fielder from Grand Saline, Texas, Johnson was named NCAA Division II All-America in 2011 by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA).

He had a batting average of .454 with nine home runs and 50 runs batted in during his senior season.

Johnson established new single-season Arkansas Tech records for base hits (99), runs scored (79), stolen bases (37), total bases (156) and longest hitting streak (34 consecutive games) in 2011.

Johnson led the GSC this season in batting average, slugging percentage (.716), runs scored, base hits, total bases and stolen bases.

He was named 2011 GSC West Division player of the year, and in so doing, he became the first and last Arkansas Tech baseball player to earn that award. Tech will move forward to the new NCAA Division II Great American Conference in fall 2011.

The ABCA, the NCBWA and CoSIDA all selected Johnson to their NCAA Division II All-South Region teams.

He earned a South Region Rawlings Gold Glove Award for his work in center field and finished third in voting for the Tino Martinez Award, which is presented annually to the top player in NCAA Division II baseball.

Johnson's play helped the Wonder Boys finish 32-19 overall and reach the final day of the GSC Baseball Tournament for the first time in a decade.

The Tampa Bay Rays drafted Johnson on June 7 during the 2011 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. He was selected in the 23rd round with the 720th pick in the draft.

Von Lienen became the fourth All-American in Arkansas Tech University volleyball history in December.

A 6-foot-2 middle blocker from Lakeland, Tenn., Von Lienen was named to the 2010 American Volleyball Coaches Association NCAA Division II All-America team as an honorable mention selection.

Von Lienen played some of her best volleyball in the biggest matches of the 2010 season.

She had a career-high 28 kills and a hitting percentage of .362 in the Golden Suns' 3-2 win over Harding on Sept. 28.

On Oct. 21, She notched 14 kills and three blocks while leading Tech to just its second road win over Harding since 2002.

To top it off, she dominated Christian Brothers in what turned out to be the match of the year in the GSC West. Von Lienen registered 16 kills and six blocks to lead the Suns to a critical 3-1 win in Memphis, Tenn., on Oct. 28.

Those three victories helped push the Golden Suns to their second GSC West title in the last three years and the ninth regular season conference volleyball title in school history.

Von Lienen finished her senior season with 406 kills and 91 blocks. Her .341 hitting percentage ranked third in the Gulf South Conference. She was also third in the GSC in kills per game (3.76).

Von Lienen was also named All-NCAA Division II South Region.

Click here to view the complete 2010-11 GSC Top 10 news release from the conference office.