Von Lienen: GSC West Player of the Year

Arkansas Tech’s Sarah Von Lienen was named 2010 Gulf South Conference West Division player of the year and a total of five Golden Suns were named All-GSC West Division on Wednesday when the league office announced postseason volleyball awards.

Von Lienen (photographed), a senior middle blocker from Lakeland, Tenn., ranks among the GSC leaders in hitting percentage (3rd, .339) and kills (4th, 373).

She is the fifth Golden Sun to be named GSC West Division volleyball player of the year, but the first since 2002.

Arkansas Tech’s Dong Mei Cui (1997), Jamee Hatchett (1998), Bridget Pyles (2000) and Ningning Liu (2002) are among the award’s previous winners.

Von Lienen is 35th in NCAA Division II in kills per game and 29th in the nation in points per game.

She also has a team-high 89 blocks this season.

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

Arkansas Tech completed the regular season with an overall record of 30-4 and a GSC mark of 11-1. It is the sixth 30-win volleyball season in Tech history.

Von Lienen is joined on the All-GSC West Division team by Arkansas Tech teammates Kera Dukic, Ashlynn Hamrick, Laura Farney and Brennae Benda.

Dukic, a senior setter from White Lake, Mich., ranks second in the GSC and 13th in NCAA Division II in assists per game (11.1). She directs an Arkansas Tech offense that is 10th in the country in hitting percentage (.267). Dukic has accumulated 1,177 assists, 24 service aces, 192 digs and 19 blocks so far this season.

Hamrick is a senior right side hitter from Jackson, Mich. She ranks fourth in the GSC this year with a .331 hitting percentage. Hamrick has totals of 205 kills and 33 blocks in 2010.

A junior outside hitter from Morton, Ill., Farney is seventh in the GSC in kills this season (331). She has also made major contributions on defense with 326 digs and 49 blocks.

Benda is a junior outside hitter from Woodstock, Ill. She has a team-high 471 digs in 2010 and her 35 service aces are second-most among the Golden Suns. Benda’s 471 digs are the third-most in a single season by a Tech volleyball player all-time.

Von Lienen collected her third consecutive All-GSC West Division award. It was the second straight All-GSC West nod for Dukic, Farney and Benda, while Hamrick earned her first career All-GSC West recognition.

Arkansas Tech will begin play in the 2010 GSC Tournament on Friday, Nov. 12. The Suns will face West Alabama for a 2:30 p.m. opening-round match at the University of West Florida Field House in Pensacola, Fla.

Click here to view the complete postseason awards release from the GSC.