MACON, Ga. (School Release) - The Atlantic Sun conference released its volleyball postseason awards on Tuesday and Mercer junior Emily Rochefort and freshman Molly Locke were among the players honored. Rochefort picked up all-conference second team honors while Locke landed an All-Freshman team selection.
Mercer's recognitions marked the first time since 2008 that two players have been cited in the annual report. The 2008 postseason awards were also the last to feature a Mercer player on the All-Freshman team.
During the regular season, Rochefort led the conference in digs per set (5.33), racking up 554 in 104 sets played. Entering Thursday's opening round of the conference tournament, her season dig total ranks third among program single-season leaders and is only 46 shy of tying Claire Tucker (2008) for second place on the list.
"She digs in a way that is worthy of at least all-conference recognition," Mercer head coach Damian Elder said. "She has an opportunity to get better at her serve receive and some of the other facets of being a great libero, but she is without question the best defensive libero in the conference."
Rochefort's dig per set figure slots her 28th among Division I players and fuels the Mercer back-line defense that ranks 14th in the country at 18.02 digs per set. This year, she's been a model of consistency, with double-digit kill totals in 26 of Mercer's 28 contests.
Locke leads all A-Sun freshmen in kills per set and ranks sixth overall in the conference at 3.30. On the year, she has 14 double-double performances and nine matches with at least 15 kills.
"I think it's a great accomplishment for Molly," Mercer head coach Damian Elder said. "On a senior laden team, to have a freshman stand out in an all-conference setting is great for both her and the program."
Currently, Locke leads the team with 343 kills on the season. The last Mercer freshman to lead the team in kills was Julie Darty in 2004 (354).
Rochefort and Locke begin play in the A-Sun tournament on Thursday night, heading to Nashville, Tenn. for a matchup with No. 3 ETSU at 5 p.m. in Allen Arena.