CCU's Nyhof, Fleet named Big South Scholar-Athletes of the Year

Conway, SC - From the Big South Conference:

CHARLOTTE, NC – Coastal Carolina volleyball player Jill Nyhof and Chanticleers' baseball player Austin Fleet  have been voted the 2009-2010 Big South Conference Female and Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, respectively.

The Scholar-Athletes of the Year are voted on by the Big South Sports Information Directors from a pool of each sport's Scholar-Athlete winner.

Nyhof is the 10th Coastal Carolina female athlete to win the award in 14 years, and is the second Big South volleyball player to be honored, joining Coastal's Jeanna Lambert (2000-2001).

An ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Second-Team Academic All-America, Nyhof graduated from Coastal Carolina with a 4.0 grade-point average in political science.  The Big South Conference's first volleyball Academic All-American since 2004, Nyhof led the Big South in blocks this past season with 1.25 blocks per game to rank 34th in the nation.

She also had a League-high 158 total blocks, including 50 solo, and was a two-time Defensive Player of the Week selection in 2009-2010.  She ended her career as Coastal Carolina's all-time leader in block assists (336) and second in total blocks with 452 – which is tied for seventh in Big South Conference history.

Nyhof also ranks sixth in school history with 1,276 career kills, ninth with 2.56 kills per game and is the all-time leader with 501 sets played.

She is one of three student-athletes in Conference annals to be voted Volleyball Scholar-Athlete of the Year twice and was a three-time member of the League's Volleyball All-Academic Team during her career (2007, 2008, 2009).

Nyhof also won the Coastal Carolina President's Scholar-Athlete Award in 2007, 2008 and 2009, won the 2009 Mortar Board Premier Highest GPA Award, and was voted to the ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District Team three times in her career, earning First-Team accolades in 2008 and 2009.

Fleet is the third Coastal Carolina student-athlete to win the award in the last four years (sixth overall), and is the first Big South baseball player to be honored since current Minnesota Twins pitcher Kevin Slowey (Winthrop) in 2004-2005.

An ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA First-Team Academic All-America in 2010, Fleet is the first Big South Conference baseball player to earn First-Team honors since 1995.

He went 6-2 with a League-best eight saves and a 2.85 ERA in 31 appearances this past season, helping the Chanticleers to a perfect 25-0 mark in Big South play and a trip to the NCAA Super Regional.  He also struck out 57 batters in 60 innings pitched.

Fleet graduated from Coastal in the spring of 2009 with a degree in business management, and the 3.78 GPA student is pursuing a second degree in recreation and sports management.

A 16th round draft choice of the San Francisco Giants this past June, Fleet earned the win in the Big South Tournament championship game against Liberty, allowing just two hits in 3.1 innings. Other 2010 season highlights include a win over Michigan on March 14, in which he allowed just three hits and no runs in six innings.

He also earned the win at Clemson on March 31 with 4.1 innings of hitless relief.

Fleet, who allowed just 11 extra-base hits this past season, had 25 strikeouts in 20.1 innings of work in Big South contests.

The Big South Male and Female Scholar-Athletes of the Year are selected from a pool of each sport's Scholar-Athlete of the Year winners announced during the regular season.

In the voting, Nyhof finished with 36 points, ahead of VMI women's soccer player Audrey Falconi (28 points).  Coastal Carolina women's basketball player Amanda Stull finished third with 22 points.

On the men's side, Fleet finished first in the voting with 39 points, followed by Gardner-Webb football player Mario Brown and GWU's men's cross country runner Jason Wenzel, who both tied for second with 16 points each.