USC Aiken volleyball racks up all-conference honors ahead of PBC Tournament

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AIKEN, S.C. – Four University of South Carolina Aiken volleyball standouts have picked up all-conference honors while another garnered the Elite 15 award, as announced by the league office Thursday evening.

Alli Bell, Christine Carroll, Rebecca Martinez and Alie Smith earned all-conference accolades.

Carroll, Martinez and Smith garnered first-team honors while Bell earned second-team honors.

The quartet guided the Pacers to a 25-4 overall record, including a 9-3 ledger in league play. USC Aiken earned a share of the PBC regular-season title for the fourth time in the last five seasons.

Carroll, a senior middle blocker from Cincinnati, Ohio, is the fourth player in PBC history to repeat as Player of the Year. She joins the list of Jackie Struck (2002, 03 – North Florida), Traci Knuth (2005, 06 – Armstrong Atlantic) and Ashley Diedrich (2014, 15 – USC Aiken) to pick up back-to-back PBC Player of the Year honors.

A three-time PBC Player of the Week, Carroll is the PBC active leader in kills with 1,094 – and ranks 13th in PBC history on the list (modern era). She established career-high honors three times on the year for kills, with a personal-best 26 coming against Lander. Carroll led the PBC in hitting percentage and is second in kills, kills per set and solo blocks. She is ninth in blocks per set. Carroll is averaging 3.77 kills per set and is hitting .332 on the year.

Carroll’s 19 kills against Lee are the fifth-most kills in a three-set match in school history while her 26 are the eighth most in a match in USC Aiken lore. She owns the fourth, sixth and seventh-best matches in terms of attack percentage in school history.

Martinez, a senior libero from Wellington, Fla., is the first player in PBC history to pick up any “of the year” award three times, earning PBC Libero/Defensive Specialist of the Year. The NCAA Division II active career leader for digs, Martinez holds the PBC all-time, all-era career digs mark. She earned PBC Player of the Week honors four times on the year.

Martinez is a two-time All-American – and picked up first-team All-America honors in 2018. She currently is third in Division II, averaging 6.42 digs per frame. Martinez had 20 or more digs 21 times on the year, including five matches of at least 30 digs. She posted a season-high 37 in the win over Lander on Nov. 5.

Martinez owns the top 10 performances for digs in a three-set match in school history, six of the top-10 performances in a four-set match and five of the top-10 efforts in a five-set match in school history. She owns six of the top-10 efforts overall for digs in a single match.

Smith, a junior from St. Johns, Fla., is a three-time all-conference honoree, having earned second-team accolades the previous two seasons. She is second on the team with 330 kills while averaging 3.59 kills per set. Smith’s 314 digs are second most on the team. She is averaging 3.41 digs per set to go along with 4.11 points per frame.

Smith posted a season-high 20 kills in the win over Shorter, which is the third-most kills in a three-set match in school history. She garnered at least 10 kills 19 times on the year and totaled 14 double-doubles on the year. Smith accounted for a career-high 30 digs in the victory over Francis Marion on Nov. 1.

Bell, a senior from North Augusta, S.C., picked up her first all-conference award. She leads the PBC in assists per set at 10.45. Bell upped that to 11.33 assists per frame in league play. She is second in total assists in league competition with 510.

Bell accounted for a career-high 63 assists in the win over Francis Marion, which marked the fourth-most assists in a five-set match in school history while being the fifth most in school history. Bell also has the fifth-most assists in a five-set match with 62 at Lander. The 62 assists are the seventh most in a single match in school history.

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