Spartanburg, S.C. – Western Carolina outside hitter Merry Gebel was named to the 2018 Southern Conference All-Freshman Team as league officials announced postseason honors on Wednesday afternoon.

Gebel led the team with 2.90 kills per set and 3.27 points per set. She was second on the team with 3.04 digs per set. The Wildwood, Mo. native led the team with 11 double-doubles this season including a stretch of four straight matches from Sept. 22 – Oct. 5. Against UNCG on Oct. 24, Gebel had a season-high 23 kills to go with 16 digs in a 3-1 win over the Spartans. Her season-high of 23 digs occurred during a 3-1 home win against Chattanooga on Oct. 13.

Gebel is the seventh player in program history to earn All-Freshman honors, joining Morgan Cochran, Caitlin Piechota, Jo-Leigh Vervelde and current teammates Aleah Keaton, Abigail Veit and MaKenzie White.

Western Carolina is scheduled to face The Citadel in the opening round of the SoCon Tournament on Friday at 9:30 a.m.

2018 All-Southern Conference Volleyball Teams and Awards

Player of the Year – Leah Clayton, ETSU, Jr., OH

Libero of the Year – Marija Popovic, ETSU, So.

Rayna Taylor Freshman of the Year – Lauren Deaton, Samford, OH

Coach of the Year – Lindsey Devine, ETSU


All-SoCon First Team

Leah Clayton, ETSU, Jr., OH

Alyssa Kvarta, ETSU, Sr., S

Marija Popovic, ETSU, So., LIB

Carris Campbell, Furman, Sr., MB

Paige Alsten, Mercer, Sr., MB

Taylor Anderton, Samford, Sr., S

Krista Boesing, Samford, Sr., OH

Catie Cronister, Wofford, Jr., OH

*eight players due to a tie


All-SoCon Second Team

Sharlissa De Jesus, The Citadel, So., OH

Mariah McPartland, ETSU, Sr., MB

Braedyn Tutton, ETSU, Sr. MB

Meg DeMaar, Furman, R-Sr., L

Hunter Thompson, Furman, R-Sr., S

Lauren Deaton, Samford, Fr., OH

Dani Szczepanski, Chattanooga, Jr., MB

Colleen Reilly, Wofford, Sr., MB

*eight players due to a tie


All-Freshman Team

Neci Harris, Furman, MB

Annie Karle, Mercer, OH

Brittany Major, Mercer, OH

Lauren Deaton, Samford, OH

Jacquelyn Langhaim, UTC

Gylian Finch, Chattanooga, OH

Merry Gebel, Western Carolina, OH