Nov. 16, 2011
FRISCO, Tex. - Alicia Shaffer has been named Southland Conference Libero of the Year, the Southland Conference announced Wednesday.
Shaffer, a second-team All-Southland Conference selection a year ago, won Southland Conference Libero of the Year by ranking 14th in the nation with 5.69 digs per set. She led the league in overall digs and digs in conference play, averaging 6.03 per set against Southland opponents.
Shaffer won the league's top honors for a libero during the same year that she set school history by breaking the career digs record. With four more digs, Shaffer would finish as the first player in program history to record 2,000 digs.
"Personal accolades are always good and kids that know they have a chance at those types of things set their goals on them and it drives them to play better, which is good for your program," UT Arlington coach Diane Seymour said. "I am really happy for Alicia. I know it was a really tight battle between her and (UTSA libero Kelsey) Jewasko, but she edges her out this year and I think it's well deserved. That's great for her."
Frantz, a first-team All-Southland Conference performer in 2009, earned first-team All-Southland Conference honors again during her senior season. She led the team with 3.48 kills per set while maintaining a .221 attack percentage. In league play, Frantz went for 12-plus digs in matches 11 times.
If Frantz notches six kills during the Southland Conference Tournament, she would become the 16th player in UT Arlington history to record 1,000 career kills - a feat made more impressive by the fact she played sparingly as a freshman.
"Sometimes when a player only plays in three rotations it is hard to be seen," Seymour said. "She is very, very dynamic offensively. A lot of times when we finish a match, a coach will say, `Wow, Tara has gotten good.'"
Aguilera finished second on the team in kills and digs, averaging 3.25 and 2.84 per set, respectively. She finished her senior season with 12 double-doubles. Earlier this season, Aguilera became the 12th player in program history to record 1,000 career kills and 1,000 career digs.
"I know Amanda may be a little disappointed with only receiving honorable mention recognition, but she can walk away from here saying that she was an all-conference performer every year in her career," Seymour said. "I think it is great to be recognized. The conference was very strong and they were all up against strong competition."
UT Arlington plays Sam Houston State in the Southland Conference Tournament at Conway, Ark. on Friday at 1:30 p.m.