Stumler SEC Player of the Year; Beavin Libero; Grome Freshman

Alli Stumler wins SEC Player of the Year award for 2021 season in conference

LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Athletics) – Alli Stumler was named the 2021 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, setter Emma Grome was named the 2021 SEC Freshman of the Year and Eleanor Beavin was named the 2021 SEC Libero of the Year, it was announced by the conference office Sunday afternoon.

In addition to the three specialty awards, sophomore Madi Skinner and junior Azhani Tealer joined Stumler and Grome on the 2021 All-Southeastern Conference team, giving UK four spots on the coveted 18-member postseason team. Grome and Beavin were additionally both awarded spots on the 2021 SEC All-Freshman Team.

Stumler joins the elite company of Sarah Rumley (2006), Leah Edmond (2018, 2019) and Madison Lilley (2020-21) as the fourth Kentucky player to ever win SEC Player of the Year. UK has won SEC Player of the Year in each of the last four seasons dating back to 2018.

The senior outside hitter from Floyds Knobs, Indiana hit .252 on the year, averaging 3.62 kills per set. Stumler also averaged 2.26 digs per set on the season, making her one of the most dynamic players in the country for the fourth-straight year as a Wildcat.

Grome, after averaging a mammoth 11.4 assists per set, was named the SEC’s Freshman of the Year, becoming the fifth different Wildcat to win the award, and fifth under head coach Craig Skinner. The Loveland, Ohio native joins Rumley (2006), Edmond (2016), Lilley (2017) and Stumler (2018) as the only five UK players to win the award. In addition to her honor as the SEC Freshman of the Year, she was also named to the 2021 All-SEC Team, and the 2021 SEC All-Freshman Team.

Beavin, who finished the regular season at a team-best 3.36 digs per set led the SEC liberos in passing average and good-pass percentage. She was named the SEC Libero of the Year, making it the eighth-straight season that a Kentucky player has won the award. The Louisville, Ky., native becomes the first freshman Wildcat to ever win the award. Beavin was also awarded a spot on the 2021 SEC All-Freshman Team alongside teammate Emma Grome.

Madi Skinner averaged a team-leading 3.80 kills per set and Azhani Tealer led the team with 1.17 blocks per set in the regular season, with both earning spots on the 2021 All-SEC Team. For Tealer, it is her second-career SEC postseason award, with sophomore outside Skinner earning her first selection to the All-SEC Team.

The 2021 NCAA Volleyball Selection Show is Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

2021 All-SEC Team

Jillian Gillen Arkansas
T’ara Ceasar Florida
Lauren Forte Florida
Thayer Hall Florida
Marlie Monserez Florida
Emma Grome Kentucky
Madi Skinner Kentucky
Alli Stumler Kentucky
Azhani Tealer Kentucky
Taylor Bannister LSU
Kylie Deberg LSU
Kylee McLaughlin Ole Miss
Sasha Ratliff Ole Miss
Gabby Waden Mississippi State
Kyla Manning South Carolina
Mikayla Robinson South Carolina
Natalie Hayward Tennessee
Breana Runnels Tennessee

 2021 All-Freshman Team

Courtney Jackson Arkansas
Merritt Beason Florida
Bre Kelley Florida
Eleanor Beavin Kentucky
Emma Grome Kentucky
Ella Larkin LSU
Lauren McCutcheon South Carolina

SEC Player of the Year:                  Alli Stumler, Kentucky

SEC Libero of the Year:                  Eleanor Beavin, Kentucky

SEC Freshman of the Year:           Emma Grome, Kentucky

Scholar-Athlete of the Year:        Jillian Gillen, Arkansas

SEC Coach of the Year:                  Julie Darty Dennis, Mississippi State

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