Three Eagles Named to All-GLIAC Teams

Arian Martin
Arian Martin

ASHLAND, Ohio – Three members of the Ashland University volleyball team were named to the All-GLIAC teams, the league office announced on Saturday (Nov. 12) at the GLIAC Tournament in Big Rapids, Mich.

Senior libero Arian Martin (Independence, Ohio/Independence) was named to the All-GLIAC first team, senior outside hitter Anesia Benton (Lima, Ohio/Lima Senior) was named to the second team and freshman outside hitter Kathy Fletcher (West Chicago, Ill./Community) was named conference honorable mention.

Early in the season, Martin moved into second place on AU's all-time digs list and finished her career with 1,779 in her four seasons. She played in every set since arriving on campus in 2008. She has been an All-GLIAC honorable mention choice twice in her career. 

This season, she recorded 437 total digs and was fourth in the league in digs per set (4.33). Her .956 reception percentage was a career high and helped the Eagles hit .203 as a team this year.

"Arian brings a quiet confidence with her play," said first-year head coach Cass Dixon. "She's not the kid that's out there screaming and yelling, but she does her job, works hard and doesn't back down.

Martin had double-digit dig totals in 25 of the 28 matches this season and never had fewer than eight in a single match. She had at least 20 digs in seven matches.

"If you can't pass, you're not going to be able to run your system," said Dixon. "She's proven to be a very important part to that system."

Benton registered 231 kills this season and averaged 2.48 kills per set with a .295 hitting percentage. It was her second straight selection as an all-conference player. Benton had a season-high 16 kills (.727) with no errors against Ferris State on Oct. 8. She finished her career with 848 career kills and 103 total blocks. 

"Everyone knows Anesia is the one that hits the ball as hard as she can," Dixon said. "She definitely can change the momentum of a match."

Fletcher was AU's leader in kills with 258 in her freshman season and finished 10th in the GLIAC with 2.77 kills per set. She also had 24 total blocks and 95 digs on the season. She had double-digit kill totals in nine of her last 13 matches and in five of her last six. Fletcher had 15 kills in AU's sweep of Northern Michigan in the GLIAC Tournament quarterfinal.

"Fletch has steadily improved all year long and was coming through when we needed her," said Dixon of the rookie. "You can no longer consider her a freshman. She's an integral part of the team."

Along with those three honorees, freshman Alyx Crislip (Louisville, Ohio) was named to the All-GLIAC Tournament team. She hit .278 for the week and had 13 kills, including a team-high nine (.364) at Ferris State in the tournament semifinal.

"Alyx wasn't involved very much in the first set," Dixon said, "but slowly she kept working and working, getting herself available. She ended up from the beginning of the match to the end of the match as a major constant for us."

The Eagles finished the season with a 15-13 overall record and a 12-7 mark in the GLIAC regular season.