Nov. 14, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- Sam Skinner of the UAB volleyball team was named the Conference USA Freshman of the Year, announced by the league office on Wednesday.
Skinner, who was named to the Second Team All-Conference USA and the league’s all-freshman team on Tuesday, becomes the first player in UAB volleyball history to earn this distinct honor.
In addition, Skinner, a redshirt-freshman, was the only first-year player to be named to one of the two all-conference teams.
“It’s a great honor for Sam and she has come in and definitely proved herself in being a terminator and that was something we were lacking on the outside,” head coach Kerry Messersmith said. “If she continues to work hard she is going to have a great career here at UAB."
A native of Birmingham, Skinner was a standout for the Blazers on the outside, averaging 2.68 kills and 3.20 points per set overall. In league play is where Skinner really shined, where she ranked 13th in the conference in kills per set (2.96) and 14th in points per set (3.52).
Skinner was the lone freshman to appear in the league’s top-20 in both statistics.
“Sam really stepped in conference play and was the go-to player we needed on the outside,” Messersmith said.
In addition to her 163 kills in 55 sets against league competition, Skinner totaled 35 blocks (10 solo, 25 assists) and laced eight service aces providing an all-around game that totaled 193.5 points in conference play.
UAB will take on the UTEP Miners in the first round of the C-USA Tournament, hosted by Tulsa, on Friday at 2 p.m. CT. The Blazers were seeded fourth in the tournament, while UTEP earned a No. 5 seed.