Lady Barons' Brown named to NAIA All-Region Team

Melissa Brown may be the first Brewton-Parker College volleyball player bestowed with NAIA All-Region XIII honors.

For the sophomore middle hitter from Kelowna, British Columbia, however, the many individual honors she has received are secondary to the Lady Barons' record-setting achievements during the 2002 season.

Brown received the All-Region award from Lady Barons coach Jason Bryant on Dec. 9 but emphasized the team's 31-12 season record and comeback victory in its first invitational tournament in the new Student Activities Center as accomplishments that are more prominent.

"Just watching how far our team has come and watching how we came together as a team have been very exciting," said Brown, who as a freshman was on a Lady Barons team that was 19-17 after the 2000 team went 5-17.

The Lady Barons won 12 more matches than their previous best and completed 3-0 sweeps of opponents 21 times.

"We were down two games in the championship match and came back to win," Brown said of the final match in Lady Barons' tournament Oct. 19. "Our home crowd was just great, and it was the most awesome feeling when we won."

Brown was named the NAIA National, NAIA Region XIII and Georgia-Alabama-Carolina Conference Player of the Week during the week of Oct. 6-12.

Brewton-Parker coach Jason Bryant said it is believed that Brown is the first GACC volleyball player to be named NAIA National Player of the Week.

Brown also earned All-Conference honors and is one of two GACC All-Academic Team members with a 4.0 grade point average.

Brown was the GACCs's regular-season leader in hitting percentage (30.2 percent) with a conference-best 396 kills for the year, which ranked her third in kill average with 2.85 per game. She also was third in block average with 0.83 per game (116 total blocks).

Brown earned conference Freshman of the Year honors in 2001, an award earned by Brewton-Parker spikers every year for the past three seasons. Chrissy Murphy, an outside hitter from Savannah, was the freshman honoree for this fall.

"She has been a really great player and is superb academically," Bryant said of Brown. "She has never missed a practice, and may have never been late to practice. Things like that add up and make a great player."

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Brewton-Parker College sophomore middle hitter Melissa Brown (right) holds a plaque representing her selection to the NAIA Region XIII volleyball team. Making the presentation to Brown is Lady Barons volleyball coach Jason Bryant.