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Francis, Meyer, Trace local players on All-MEC volleyball team

The Mountain East Conference Wednesday announced its top individual award winners for the 2017 season with Fairmont State's Mackenzie Harrison taking Player of the Year honors, while Wheeling Jesuit's Audrey Francis was tabbed as the league's Libero of the Year. Wheeling Jesuit's Cassie Meyer was recognized as the MEC Freshman of the Year and Cardinals head coach Christy Benner was selected as the league's Coach of the Year.

Harrison, a senior from Twinsburg, Ohio, earned Player of the Year honors after leading the country in kills (694) and kills (5.88) per set this season. In fact, Harrison has more than 160 more kills than the next closest player in NCAA Division II. In addition to becoming Fairmont State's all-time career leader in kills with 1,952, she also set a single season school and conference record for kills. She had 18 matches with 20 or more kills, including a MEC record 38 vs. Notre Dame. She also ranked 11th in the conference in digs per set with 4.03. Harrison was the MEC Player of the Week three times this fall.

Francis, a freshman from Sidney (Fairlawn) led the conference and ranked 22nd in the country in total digs (618) on her way to earning Libero of the Year honors. Francis ranked second in the conference in digs per set with 5.33, and had double-digit digs in all but two matches this season. She had just 14 errors in 504 serve receptions (.972 serve reception percentage) for the Cardinals.

Meyer, an outside hitter from Jackson Center (led the Tigers to two state titles) is the Freshman of the Year after ranking among the league leaders in kills, hitting percentage, digs and points. She led all league freshmen and ranked third in the conference with 447 kills (3.85 per set). Meyer's 447 kills also rank third among all freshmen in NCAA Division II. She hit .237 on the season and averaged 3.25 digs per set for WJU.

Benner is the MEC Coach of the Year for the fifth time in as many years after leading WJU to a 28-5 overall record. The Cardinals, who have just two seniors and 13 underclassmen on the roster, lost just three sets as they went 16-0 in conference play for the fifth-straight year en route to the MEC regular season title. Wheeling Jesuit is the host and top seed for this week's MEC Tournament, and also holds the top spot in the most recent NCAA Atlantic Region rankings.

In addition to the individual awards, the MEC also released its all-conference teams. Wheeling Jesuit had four first team selections, followed by Shepherd with two. Charleston, Fairmont State and Urbana each had one first team selection.

The All-MEC teams are selected by a vote of the league's coaches.

2017 MEC Individual Awards:

Player of the Year: Mackenzie Harrison (Fairmont State)

Libero of the Year: Audrey Francis (Wheeling Jesuit)

Freshman of the Year: Cassie Meyer (Wheeling Jesuit)

Coach of the Year: Christy Benner (Wheeling Jesuit)

2017 All-MEC First Team:

Pos. Name School Cl. Hometown

OH Katlynn Dunlap Urbana Sr. Zoarville, Ohio

L Audrey Francis Wheeling Jesuit Fr. Sidney, Ohio

OH Carly Granger Charleston Jr. Fenton, Mich.

RS Mackenzie Harrison Fairmont State Sr. Twinsburg, Ohio

OH Cambriea Hill Shepherd So. Columbia, Md.

MB Jessica Karcz Shepherd So. Westminster, Md.

MB Haley Kramer Wheeling Jesuit So. Norwalk, Ohio

OH Cassie Meyer Wheeling Jesuit Fr. Jackson Center, Ohio

S Stephanie Sylvester Wheeling Jesuit So. Oregon, Ohio

2017 All-MEC Second Team:

Pos. Name School Cl. Hometown

OH Raimey Benson West Liberty Jr. Dublin, Ohio

MB Brooke Heck Concord Jr. Huntington, W.Va.

OH Ciara Kain UVa-Wise Jr. Leesburg, Va.

OH Hannah King W.Va. Wesleyan Sr. Charleston, W.Va.

OH Melissa Maczuzak Notre Dame Sr. Concord, Ohio

L Kelsey Matusic Charleston So. Winfield, W.Va.

MB Sydney Scherer West Liberty Sr. Brookville, Ohio

MH Kaitlin Trace Urbana Fr. St. Paris, Ohio

2017 All-MEC Honorable Mention:

Pos. Name School Cl. Hometown

OH Makenna Babb Wheeling Jesuit Fr. Arlington, Ohio

OH Cecily Clark Urbana Jr. Cincinnati, Ohio

L Megan Clerico Fairmont State Jr. Norristown, Pa.

L Kailee Cunningham West Liberty So. Independence, Ohio

S Anna Davis Urbana Jr. Aurora, Ohio

S Jessica Furda Fairmont State Sr. Wintersville, Ohio

MB Stephanie Leonard West Liberty Jr. Milford, Mich.

MB/OH Maddy Smyth Wheeling Jesuit Sr. Toledo, Ohio

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