CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern's Madison Martin was selected to the Big South Preseason Volleyball All-Conference Team as the Big South Conference announced the preseason poll and awards on Tuesday afternoon.
The junior libero earned preseason recognition for the first time in her career following a record-setting season. Martin broke the CSU individual mark in digs for the season and finished fifth in the NCAA in the total digs in 2016. The Bucs led the NCAA Division I in the 2016 season with 2,304 total digs.
Martin became CSU's first player to be named to the Big South First Team since Amanda Hill (2010) after leading the conference in total digs (665), digs per set (5.04), total digs in conference matches (357), and digs per set in conference play (5.33). The Birmingham, Mich. native shattered CSU's single-season digs mark set last year by Ashley Higginbothem (603, 2015).
Martin posted four of the Big South's 30+ digs matches last season. She also tied CSU's single match record with 36 in the Bucs' 3-1 win over Radford on October 14.
The Bucs were picked fifth overall in the Big South Preseason Coaches Poll. CSU received one first place vote and 44 points overall to receive their highest placement in the preseason poll in the Christy Mooberry coaching era.
The Buccaneers return 11 players from last year's squad that advanced back to the postseason for the second consecutive season in 2016.
Seniors Siraya Windsor and Kylie Klein, juniors Madison Martin, Addison Kaderli, and Hannah Western, as well as sophomores Logan Windsor, Naiomi Rivera, Brooke Monssen, Rachel Smith, Macey LaPorte, and Caitlyn Michalski. CSU also adds five newcomers to the mix as the Bucs look to take the next step in 2017.
High Point was picked first in the preseason poll. The Panthers received six first place votes and 77 points overall. Radford was second in the poll after receiving the remaining two first place votes and 73 points overall. Liberty, Campbell, and CSU rounded out the top five.
Radford's Maddie Palmer was selected as the Big South Volleyball Preseason Player of the Year. She was joined on the preseason All-Conference team by High Point's Haley Barnes and Molly Livingston, Radford's Haley Kleespies, Liberty's Anna Gragg and Anna Willey, and CSU's Madison Martin.
The Buccaneers open the 2017 season on the road at the Catamount Volleyball Classic hosted by Western Carolina in Cullowhee, N.C. on August 25-26.