Madison Lilley earns AVCA National Player of the Year Award

Lilley becomes the first SEC athlete to ever win award


OMAHA, Neb. (UK Athletics) – Kentucky Volleyball’s senior setter Madison Lilley was named the 2020-21 American Volleyball Coaches’ Association National Player of the Year, the organization announced on Thursday.


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Lilley becomes the first-ever Southeastern Conference student-athlete to win the award.


The 2021-21 SEC Player of the Year, AVCA All-Southeast Region Player of the Year, and First Team All-American from Overland Park, Kansas was named the winner of the award via a vote from head coaches around the country who make up the All-American committee of the AVCA.


Lilley, the school’s all-time leader in assists, is averaging an SEC-high 12.1 assists per set this season, with just under one kill per set, 2.36 digs per set and 0.65 blocks per set. She was named the SEC’s Player of the Week four times this season and the league’s Setter of the Week on seven different occasions.


The senior has recorded 30+ assists in all but two of Kentucky’s 23 matches this season, including all three so far in the NCAA Tournament against UNLV, No. 18 Western Kentucky and No. 9 Purdue. Lilley has 35 matches in her illustrious career that she has recorded 40 or more assists and six matches this season along with 10 or more digs, for six double-doubles this year.


An AVCA All-American all four years at Kentucky, Lilley was named a First Team All-Americans on Tuesday for the first time in her career.


Kentucky has qualified for the NCAA National Semifinals for the first time and plays (6) Washington on Thursday night at 7 p.m. ET in the first of two national semifinal matches. The match will air live on ESPN with Paul Sunderland, Salima Rockwell and Holly Rowe on the call from the CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska.

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Bryan Kennedy hails from the Bluegrass State. He was born and raised in Owensboro, KY where he graduated from Apollo High School in 2006. Bryan graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish in 2010. He also received his master's degree in Sports Media and Branding from Western Kentucky University. While at UK, Bryan was the general manager of the on-campus TV station. He also did sports reporting, anchoring, producing and even the weather for UK Student News Network. While working for UKSNN, he also had the pleasure of covering Coach John Calipari's first press conference when he was introduced as the new head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats; easily one of his favorite moments as a young sports reporter. Before coming to ABC 36, Bryan was a morning anchor and reporter at WXXV News 25, our sister station in Gulfport, MS. He anchored more than four hours of news every day, including morning shows on NBC and Fox. While down south, Bryan had the opportunity to cover the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. After spending a little more than two years at WXXV, Bryan is extremely excited to return home. In his spare time, Bryan enjoys playing sports, especially rugby. He also enjoys crossfitting and watching sports (obviously). He's extremely excited to cover Central Kentucky. Feel free to say hello and send story ideas