LEXINGTON, Ky. – After becoming just the second Carson-Newman player to earn multiple all-region nods last week, Morgan Ballard, a North Buncombe High School graduate, added first-team All-Southeast Region honors from the American Volleyball Coaches Association Thursday.
Of the nine individuals to earn all-region honors, Ballard joins Nikki James as the only Eagles to be on a list twice in their careers. James was an honorable mention pick in 2010 and a second-team selection in 2011. The junior libero was an honorable mention pick from the AVCA last season.
The first-team All-South Atlantic Conference selection made the top league squad for the second consecutive campaign becoming the sixth player in program history to be on the top team twice in a career and first since Katie Troyer did so in 2008 and 2009.
Ballard’s 784 total scoops are good for the fourth-highest margin in the country as her digs per set average is 7.61 is also a mark good for second. Kalie Arnold of Rockhurst has 814 scoops USC Aiken’s Rebecca Martinez’s margin of 7.99 digs per set is the national record for a single season.
Her season total finished as the third-highest mark in the history of the school behind Blaire Young’s 856 in 2004 and Ballard’s sophomore season number of 819.
The junior’s average per frame made her the first player to tally at least seven per set in a season as she held the prior school record for a single season with 6.94 as a sophomore in 2017.
The Weaverville native recorded her third-career 50-dig night with 51 against Lenoir-Rhyne on Oct. 5, the second-most in a Division II match this year. Bloomsburg’s Alyssa Cianciulli had 52 in four sets against West Virginia Wesleyan on Sept. 8.
Overall on the year, Ballard led the team in digs in 21 straight matches to end the year producing at least 20 scoops in all but four matches this year with 30 or more on 11 occasions. With a career total of 1,603, she sits in fifth on school’s ledger behind Angelle Hayes’s mark of 1,959 for fourth. The school record is Young’s tally of 2,550 as Ballard enters her senior season needing 948 to sit alone on top of the record books.