Spartanburg, S.C. – The Southern Conference honored Western Carolina head coach Karen Glover, senior libero Meagan Sanchez and sophomore outside hitter Merry Gebel on Wednesday afternoon as the league announced its annual postseason volleyball awards.

Glover, in her ninth season as head coach, earned Coach of the Year honors for the second time during her tenure in Cullowhee and first since 2011. Glover guided a Catamount squad picked to finish in eighth place in the preseason coaches' poll to a 17-11 overall record and an 11-5 league mark that secured a third place finish.

Sanchez took home her first career, and the program’s first, Libero of the Year honor and also claimed First Team All-Conference accolades. She led the league with 596 digs and 5.60 digs per set, which ranks eighth nationally. The Bristow, Va. native became the third player in program history to surpass the 2,000-digs plateau on Nov. 13 at ETSU with a career-high 35 digs. Sanchez earned seven Defensive Player of the Week honors during the 2019 season and is one of two players in league history to claim eight weekly honors in their career.

Gebel earned Second Team All-Conference laurels after averaging 3.37 kills and 2.93 digs per set. The Wildwood, Mo. native led the team with 16 double-doubles. She had a season-high 24 kills in a 3-2 win at Furman on Sept. 28. Gebel claimed a spot on the All-Freshman Team in 2018.

WCU is the No. 3 seed in the upcoming Southern Conference Tournament on the campus of Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C. Friday through Sunday. The Catamounts open the tournament against No. 6 seed Mercer on Friday at 7 p.m.

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