Joylene Thompson goes for an attack in a match earlier this season.
Nov. 12, 2013
HAMPTON, Va. - Four Fayetteville State University Broncos volleyball players were honored by the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association with all-league honors on Tuesday.
Joylene Thompson and Taylor Norris received first-team selections to the All-CIAA Volleyball Team. Samira Luis and Jessica Hardy got second-team nods. Luis was also named to the conference's All-Rookie Team.
Thompson, a junior middle hitter from Spanish Town, Jamaica, is no stranger to this list. She was an All-CIAA player in 2012, when she saw most of her time on the right side and outside. This year, she moved over to middle, where she had team highs in kills (195), kills per set (2.64), blocks (36) and hitting percentage (.324) in the regular season. Her hitting percentage led the entire CIAA.
"She's been pretty confident for us this year," coach Reesheemah Johnson said. "I knew I had dominant middles last year. I expected her to step in this year and fill those shoes. She's done that well."
Norris, a junior right side hitter originally from Grand Island, Neb., excelled as a hitter, both on the right side and in the middle. She compiled 102 kills, 32 blocks and a .217 hitting percentage, along the way.
"Taylor is a very versatile player," Johnson said. "She's had to play middle for us this year a couple of times and has done so effectively. But I think she's one of the most effective right side hitters in the conference. She's a strong hitter, she's a strong blocker. She's very dominant in that role."
Hardy, a junior from Fayetteville, served as a utility player for the Lady Broncos. She saw time at nearly every position, finishing with regular-season totals of 48 kills, 123 assists and 63 digs.
"Jessica is one of the most versatile players in the conference," Johnson said. "She stepped up for us this year. She's played right side, she's played outside. If I need her to, she can play middle. ... I know I can put her wherever I need her. She fills that role willingly and she does it well."
Luis, a freshman from Willemstad, Curacao, excelled at the outside hitter position. She finished the regular season with totals of 155 kills (2.21 per set), a .164 hitting percentage, 45 service aces and 91 digs.
"That's why I brought her here," Johnson said. "She's a very strong player. Just as important as her level of play is the impact she has on the team. She's a very spirited player. She's able to get the team rallied and motivated. She gets them pumped and keeps them hyped. I knew she was a strong player coming in. Once she got acclimated, there's been no stopping her."
FSU resumes its quest for a second straight conference championship in the CIAA Semifinals on Saturday against Chowan at Winston-Salem State University.