Nov. 24, 2003
Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina freshman Kellyn Thaut received the league's Rayna Taylor Freshman of the Year Award, the Southern Conference announced. Thaut, an outside hitter from Hastings, Neb., ranked sixth in the SoCon in kills while helping the Lady Catamounts to a third place finish in the North Division and a berth in the SoCon Volleyball Championships.
This is the first such honor for any WCU volleyball player in the school's history. The Catamounts have boasted 13 All-Conference players (some multiple-year winners), 12 all-tournament players, two SoCon tournament MVPs, one SoCon Player of the Year and a three-time league Coach of the Year, but never before a Freshman of the Year.
With her powerful jump serve, Thaut became a well-known scoring threat around the conference. She finished the season with 445 kills (3.74/gm) to lead the Catamounts. She additionally led the squad in service aces with 36 and in points, earning 4.25 per contest. Thaut also ranked second on the team in digs, tallying 368 on the season (3.09/gm). The freshman recorded 18 double-doubles for the season, including a career-high 23 kills and 22 digs in the Cats' final match of the year against Georgia Southern in the SoCon tournament.