Three Patriot volleyball players named to PBC All-Academic Team
FLORENCE, S.C. – Three Francis Marion University volleyball players, seniors Jessica Lombardi and Jenna Kaiser and junior Jess O’Leary, have been named to the Peach Belt Conference’s volleyball All-Academic Team for 2008. All three were named to the first-team squad.
This is the initial year for the PBC’s All-Academic Teams, voted on and named at the end of each fall, winter, or spring season. To be eligible for the All-Academic program, a student-athlete must participate in at least half of her team’s events and be either a starter or significant contributor; have achieved a 3.20 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale), and have completed at least one full academic year at her current institution.
Lombardi, a 5-11 middle blocker from Massillon, Ohio, is an art education major with a 3.78 grade point average. Kaiser, a 5-10 setter from Broomfield, Colo., is majoring in biology and has a 3.48 GPA, while O’Leary, a 5-8 defensive specialist and part-time setter from St. Louis, Mo., has a 3.88 GPA as a psychology major.
Lombardi and Kaiser were both All-Region and All-Conference performers on the court. Lombardi ended her career with 1,267 career kills, 13th-best on the all-time Peach Belt list, and 990 career digs. Kaiser ranks ninth on the PBC career list for assists with 3,972, and also compiled 1,121 career digs.
O’Leary was one of only three Patriots to appear in all 115 individual games last season, while ranking second on the Patriot squad in assists, service aces, and digs.
The trio helped lead Francis Marion to a 23-9 record, second-place finishes during the Peach Belt Conference regular-season and tournament, and to the program’s third-ever NCAA Division II National Tournament invitation. This all occurred after the squad was picked to finish fourth in the preseason PBC coaches’ poll.
Lombardi is a former All-Federal League selection and Stark County Player of the Year at Jackson High School. Kaiser is a former three-sport standout at Broomfield High School. O’Leary is a former All-Conference player at Lutheran High School South.