FLORENCE, S.C. – Three Francis Marion University volleyball players, seniors Jess O’Leary and Caitlin Simpson and sophomore Amanda Mitchell, have been named to the Peach Belt Conference’s volleyball All-Academic Team for 2009. O’Leary was a first-team selection.
This is the second year for the PBC’s All-Academic Teams. 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.
O’Leary, a 5-8 setter from St. Louis, Mo., has a 3.71 GPA as a psychology major. Simpson is a 6-1 middle blocker from Scottsdale, Ariz., and owns a 3.39 GPA as a psychology major, while Mitchell, a 6-0 outside hitter from Farragut, Tenn., is a biology major with a 3.59 GPA.
O’Leary and Mitchell both appeared in all 115 individual games FMU played last season. O’Leary led the Patriots in assists (5.03 per game) and was third on the squad in service aces and fourth in digs. She was also named to the 2008 All-Academic squad.
Simpson ranked second on the team and third in the PBC in blocks per game (0.98), while posting a .214 hitting percentage.
Mitchell averaged 1.81 kills per game with a .214 hitting percentage – 13th-best in the Peach Belt.
Francis Marion finished the 2009 season with an 11-20 mark.
O’Leary is a former All-Conference player at Lutheran High School South. Simpson transferred to FMU from South Mountain Community College. She attended Coronado High School. Mitchell earned KIL Player of the Year honors as a senior at Farragut High School.