Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
Lander's Edwards earns NCAA volleyball honour
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 1 Nov 2006

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Individual awards are nice, says Georgetown native J.J. Edwards, but she'd prefer that her South Carolina based Lander University women's varsity volleyball Bearcats were rewarded a little more in the win column for their court efforts. The 19-year-old Edwards was recently named volleyball Specialist of the Week in the NCAA Division II Peach Belt Conference, an honour rarely handed out to freshmen playing the setter or libero positions. She leads the Bearcats in assists and has complemented that with strong serving and defensive skills that earned her the starter's job over a sophomore at Lander, which is located about an hour outside Columbia, S.C. The 5-foot-8 Edwards ranks third in the Peach Belt Conference in assists and fifth in service aces. However, despite a 19-13 overall match record this year, the Bearcats have an inter-conference record of just 1-9 and will have an unfavourable seeding for this weekend's league championship tournament in South Carolina. In a recent contest against Francis Marion, Lander reeled off the first eight points in game one behind Edwards' serving, but went on to lose by scores of 30-25, 30-19. "Within our conference, we were so close in so many matches and we seem to have the ability to win, but for whatever reason things start to fall apart at the worst possible time," said the Georgetown District High School grad and 2005 Rebel athlete of the year. "Our record doesn't look good, but we know we're right up there with the other teams in our conference and we can beat them all." With just one senior player on their roster, the Bearcats appear to be an emerging team in the Peach Belt and that was part of Edwards' decision-making process during recruitment. Also sought by U.S. schools for her softball talents, she considered campus size, depth of the roster and the availability of her desired scholastic program, exercise science. "They accidentally overloaded my timetable with courses because someone didn't realize that this was the semester I had volleyball so I'm going to have to take one course over again next semester," she added. "It's been crazy, but I like it. You basically get up in the morning, go to class, study, go to a three-hour practice, eat, and do more homework and then sleep again. Then on weekends, we have games, so there's not a lot of free time."

Maher, Eamonn
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1 Nov 2006
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Edwards, JJ
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Lander's Edwards earns NCAA volleyball honour