Hardeman, Forman Take Top Sun Belt Awards; Alvis Named All-Conference
CONWAY - Three members of the Coastal Carolina volleyball team made the list of individual award winners and all-conference honorees released by the Sun Belt Conference on Wednesday. For the second consecutive year Leah Hardeman is the Sun Belt Player of the Year and a first team all-conference member, Sydney Alvis was voted second team all-conference, and Jozsef Forman was named the Sun Belt Coach of the Year.
The Sun Belt all-conference and individual awards were voted upon by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors.
Hardeman has now been named a conference’s Player of the Year in each of her four seasons at Coastal, as her pair of Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year awards followed a pair of Big South Conference Player of the Year awards from 2014-15.
The Clarkston, Ga., native led the Sun Belt in five statistical categories this season, including kills per set and points per set. Among all Division I volleyball players, she finished 12th in the former category and 14th in the latter. Hardeman landed double figure kills in all but two of Coastal’s 25 matches this season, including 20-plus kills in seven matches and 30-plus kills in two.
As a six-rotation player, Hardeman was also active on the defensive side of the ball. Her 2.29 digs per set ranked second for the Chants, and she led the Sun Belt with 15 double-doubles. Hardeman additionally totaled 48 blocks this year, averaging just over half of a block per set.
In her first season with the Chants after transferring from UNC Wilmington, Alvis led Coastal defensively averaging 4.02 digs per set. The junior defensive specialist had 15 or more digs in 15 matches this year, including a season high of 29 at Appalachian State on Oct. 15. Alvis additionally ranked second for Coastal in service aces with 18, and chipped in 1.07 assists per set.
Forman is winning his second Coach of the Year award, and first from the Sun Belt. He was previously named the Big South Coach of the Year in 2015.
Forman has led Coastal to conference championships and NCAA appearances in each of the last three years, and is in good position to do so for a fourth year as he led the Chants to an 18-7, 15-1 record and the top overall seed in the 2017 Sun Belt Championship. The 2017 season featured a second consecutive Sun Belt East Division title for Coastal, as well as a 12-match winning streak to finish the regular season – the 12th longest active winning streak in NCAA Division I volleyball.
Having clinched the number one seed in the conference tournament, the Chants advance directly to Saturday’s semifinal round. There, the Chants will face the winner of Friday’s quarterfinal match between #4 Arkansas State and #5 South Alabama/#8 Troy.