BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Texas A&M head coach Laura “Bird” Kuhn has been named the SEC Coach of the Year, according to a vote of the Southeastern Conference head volleyball coaches, announced Sunday by the league office.
Kuhn collects her first coach of the year distinction in her second season with the Aggies. She is just the second A&M volleyball coach to receive this honor after Laurie Corbelli was voted coach of the year in 2015. In just two seasons, Kuhn has amassed a 38-20 overall record and led the Aggies to a 21-7 overall record in 2019, their first 20-win season since 2016. The Aggies earned their best home record since 2000, going an impressive 12-1 at Reed Arena.
After being picked to finish sixth prior to the season, Kuhn led the Aggies to a 13-6 conference slate to finish third, tying their SEC finish in 2016. A&M defeated back-to-back ranked SEC opponents to kick off the month of September, seeing the Aggies crack the AVCA Coaches Poll for the first time since Sept. 19, 2016.
In addition to Coach Kuhn, four Aggies earned postseason honors with Camille Conner and Hollann Hans being named to the All-SEC team and freshmen Lauren Davis and Treyaunna Rush both earning a spot on the All-Freshman team.
Conner, a junior setter from Katy, Texas picks up her first All-SEC honor after quarterbacking the Aggies’ offense all season. Conner is the reigning SEC Setter of the Week after being the first player in the SEC to record a triple-double. She has started and played in every set since she was a freshman. The setter ranks fifth in the SEC in assists (1,062) and in assists per set (9.65).
Hans, a senior outside hitter from Corpus Christi, Texas, is making her second consecutive appearance on the All-SEC team. She was also named to the SEC All-Freshman team in 2016. As A&M’s service ace leader in the 25-point rally scoring era, Hans leads the SEC in overall matches in aces (52). She also ranks second in total kills (471), points (551.5) and points per set (5.06), all while ranking top-30 nationally in each category. As a senior, Hans was named to the All-SEC Preseason team, was named the SEC Player of the Week on Nov. 4 and is a two-time SEC Offensive Player of the Week.
Davis and Rush are the sixth and seventh Aggie volleyball players to be named to the SEC All-Freshman team, joining fellow teammates Hans and London Austin-Roark (2018).
Davis, an outside hitter from Orlando, Fla., has played in all 28 matches, ranking second on the team in kills (234), following senior standout Hans. The freshman is also second on the team in solo blocks (9). Davis has registered double-digit kills 10 times this season and most recently recorded a career-high 19 kills on a .389 mark.
Rush, an opposite hitter from Texarkana, Texas, has amassed 158 kills and ranks third on the team in blocks (73). The freshman has led the Aggies in blocks four times, recording a career-high six blocks three times this season. Rush has recorded double figure kills four times. She registered a career-high 12 kills at No. 15 Kentucky on Nov. 1 and most recently tied that performance on Saturday after finishing with 12 kills at No. 15 Florida.
The Aggies will tune in to the NCAA Division I Selection Show to await their postseason fate.
The show is aired tonight, Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. (CT) on ESPNU.
The following is the complete list of 2019 SEC volleyball awards:
Player of the Year: Leah Edmond, Kentucky
Libero of the Year: Gabby Curry, Kentucky
Freshman of the Year: Kacie Evans, Georgia
Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Rachael Kramer, Florida
Coach of the Year: Laura “Bird” Kuhn, Texas A&M
Thayer Hall Florida
Paige Hammons Florida
Rachael Kramer Florida
Meghan Donovan Georgia
Kacie Evans Georgia
Gabby Curry Kentucky
Leah Edmond Kentucky
Madison Lilley Kentucky
Alli Stumler Kentucky
Taylor Bannister LSU
Kylie Deberg Missouri
Andrea Fuentes Missouri
Tyanna Omazic Missouri
Mikayla Robinson South Carolina
Mikayla Shields South Carolina
Tessa Grubbs Tennessee
Camille Conner Texas A&M
Hollann Hans Texas A&M
Alyiah Wells Alabama
Jillian Gillen Arkansas
Kacie Evans Georgia
Samarah Hill LSU
Karli Rose LSU
Lauren Davis Texas A&M
Treyaunna Rush Texas A&M