LMU’s Walton makes All-Souteast Region team

December 5, 2013

LEXINGTON — Senior outside hitter Kaitlin Walton was named to the AVCA All-Southeast Region Team, while sophomore libero Casey Mense garnered honorable mention distinctions, officials with the American Volleyball Coaches Association announced on Thursday.

Walton was one of five individuals from the South Atlantic Conference to nab AVCA All-Southeast Region accolades, as she was joined by Wingate’s Alison Cooke, Anna Hilton and Lexi Potter as well as Tusculum’s Caitlyn Dean. The AVCA All-Southeast Region Team is comprised of 14 players— with six honorable mention spots — representing the SAC, the Peach Belt Conference and Conference Carolinas.

Walton, a 2013 All-SAC first team selection, had the most productive season of her impressive four-year stay with the Lady Railsplitters. The Muncie, Ind., native paced Lincoln Memorial University with 332 total kills on a 2.74 kills per set average, ranking eighth and 13th respectively in the conference in those categories. Walton’s 332 kills is a career-high, as she eclipsed her number from the 2010 season when she was a Daktronics All-Southeast Region Second Team selection after compiling 327 kills. Walton added 29 service aces, 42 total blocks and 109 digs to her stat ledger from the 2013 campaign.

The senior outside hitter produced 17 double-digit kill performances in 31 appearances, including a career-high 22 kills in LMU’s four-set victory over Queens on Oct. 4. Walton posted double-figure kills in 16 of Lincoln Memorial’s 21 matches from Sept. 14 until Nov. 15.

Walton leaves Lincoln Memorial University with her name checkered throughout the school record book. On Oct. 25, she led the Lady Railsplitters to a five-set win against Anderson with 17 kills and, in the process, she became the 10th player in school history to crest the 1,000 kill plateau. She wrapped up her career with 1,111 kills, which ranks sixth in LMU’s record book. She is also second with 471 sets played, sixth with 3,019 attack attempts and eighth with 1,279.5 points.

Mense, a sophomore, adds the regional honorable mention to her All-SAC honorable mention selection in 2013.

In her first season at libero for the Lady Railsplitters, Mense finished fourth in the conference with 586 digs and 5.19 digs per set despite sitting out LMU’s final three matches of the season. Mense’s 586 digs topped the Lincoln Memorial University school record for digs in a season, beating out previous record holder Courtney Marton who amassed 562 during the 2005 campaign. With an average of 5.19 per set, Mense finished second in LMU’s single-season record book, trailing only Jency Basinger’s 5.26 per set average from 2006. Along with those defensive numbers, the Murfreesboro, Tenn., native tallied 96 assists and a team-high 40 service aces, ranking fifth in the league in that category.

Mense posted double-digit digs in all 28 appearances this season with better than 20 digs in 15 matches. The sophomore logged 30 or more digs five times including a monster 38-dig outing in LMU’s five-set triumph over USC Aiken on Sept. 14.

In two seasons with the Lady Railsplitters, Mense has compiled 957 digs with an average of 4.23 digs per set, which currently ranks third in school history. She has also contributed 79 service aces and that mark is three shy of breaking into the top 20 in LMU’s career record book.

The Lady Railsplitters capped the 2013 campaign with an 18-13 overall mark and a 14-8 South Atlantic Conference clip.