The Eastern College Athletic Conference released its 2016 Division I Volleyball All-Star team and Broad Run alumni and James Madison senior Taylor Austin was honored as Defensive Player of the Year as well as ECAC First-Team accolades.
The honors are the second major awards for Austin who was selected as Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Specialist of the Year, earlier this month and come off the heels of James Madison winning the CAA Championship title and earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2000.
Austin has proven to be one of the nation’s top defensive players as the junior leads the league and ranks second in Division I with a 5.92 digs per set average, the third-highest, single-season average in JMU history. Her league-leading 663 kills ranks fifth in the country and is the second-most tallied by Duke over a season.
The Ashburn, Va. native has garnered double-digit digs in all 30 of her appearances and has tallied at least 20 digs in 16 matches with six outings of 30 or more digs. Recording her 1,000th career dig earlier this year, the junior has become just one of three Dukes in program history with at least 1,500 digs over a career, ranking third in school history with 1,530 digs. Austin also holds the second-best digs per set average over a career with a 4.86 mark.
Taylor Austin also has a special distinction of having been coached in middle school by former Viva Loudoun editor Janelle Arrighi and coached in high school by Viva Loudoun contributor Betsy Scudder.
A list of Austin’s accomplishments in her volleyball career are listed below:
As a junior:
- 2016 CAA Defensive Specialist of the Year and 2016 ECAC Defensive Player of the Year
- First Team All-CAA and ECAC First Team selection
- AVCA East Coast Honorable Mention
- Named CAA Defensive Player of the Week on two occasions (10/24) (11/7)
- Starting libero in 31 of JMU’s 32 matches
- Garnered 20 or more digs in 17 contests with six performances with 30 or more digs.
- Led the conference and ranks second in the nation with 684 digs for a 5.85 digs per set average, both are the second-highest marks ever to be recorded over a single-season by the Dukes
- Currently ranks third on JMU’s all-time digs chart with 1,551 and second in digs per set average with a career mark of 4.86
- Tallied 131 assists and two kills
- One of three Dukes to every surpass the 1,500 career digs mark
- Dished out a career-best 39 digs in JMU’s five-set triumph at UNCW (11/5)
- Recorded a season-high three service aces at William & Mary (10/28)
- Tallied career-best nine assists twice – vs. Colgate (9/3) and at Northeastern (10/20)
- Tallied her 1,000th career dig at Fairfield (9/9)
- Named to the Cornell Invitational All-Tournament Team after leading the Dukes to an undefeated weekend, while tallying a team-leading 73 digs (7.30 per set)
As a sophomore:
- Two-time CAA Defensive Player of the Week (9/21/15) (10/19/15)
- Named MVP of the JMU Classic
- Named to the Dog Pound Challenge All-Tournament team
- All-Tournament selection in the Villanova Classic
- All-Tournament honoree in the JMU Invitational
- Tallied a career-high 31 digs vs. Northern Arizona
As a freshman:
- Played in 25 matches and 90 sets as a defensive specialist and libero for JMU
- Marquette Invitational All-Tournament Team
- Led team with 3.80 digs/set, the ninth-highest single-season average in JMU history
- Posted double-digit dig efforts in 17 matches, including six contests with 20 or more digs
- Picked up career-high 24 digs in five-set win at Elon
- Started career with seven consecutive double-digit performances on the backline
- Three-year starting libero at Broad Run HS
- 2013 VHSCA State Player of the Year, 5A North Region POY and Conference 14 POY
- 2012 Cedar Run District Player of the Year
- Named First Team All-Region and All-District as a junior
- Tallied more than 2,000 digs in her career
- Born Aug. 19, 1996
- Daughter of Madelene and James Austin
- Twin brother, William, who will also attend JMU
- Father, James, played baseball at VCU, eventually reaching the majors with the Milwaukee Brewers
- Also competed in track at Broad Run HS
- Named to the Sigma Tau Sigma Honor Roll all four years
- Majoring in nursing
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