Three student-athletes from the Southeastern Conference were named to the 2017 College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District® Volleyball Teams, which recognizes the nation's top student-athletes for their combined performances on the court and in the classroom.
Leah Lawrence of Alabama and Mikayla Shields of South Carolina both earned a spot on the District 4 First Team, while Anna Zwiebel of LSU was named to the District 6 First Team.
Lawrence is currently pursuing her master's degree in finance with a 4.00 grade point average after earning her undergraduate degree in just three years in the same field with a 3.99 GPA. On the court, she leads the team in kills (253), attack percentage (.315) and blocks (113), recently becoming the Crimson Tide's career blocks leader following the Nov. 12 win over Tennessee. The honor marks the 21st Academic All-District award in Alabama volleyball program history and is the second for the Huntsville, Ala., native.
Shields, who carries a 3.71 GPA as a biological sciences major, is the 13th Gamecock in program history to make an All-District team, and just the fourth sophomore. In 2016, she made the SEC All-Freshman Team and made the AVCA's All-Region honorable mention team after becoming the first Gamecock in 10 years to lead the team in both kills and hitting percentage. Shields then spent the summer with Team USA's U19 team, winning gold at the Pan American Cup. This season, she has increased her kills per set from 3.25 as a freshman to 3.65, and already doubled her entire 2016 total for digs and ranks second on the team with a 2.47 average per set. Through 26 matches, Shields has 10 double-doubles, the fifth most of any SEC player. She is just the third sophomore in the program's 45-year history to make it to 700 kills in just her first two seasons.
Zwiebel is majoring in kinesiology and has a GPA of 4.09. It is the first CoSIDA Academic All-District honor for an LSU player since Brittney Johnson earned the accolade in 2010. Zwiebel is just the seventh player in LSU volleyball history to be named to the team and is the only sophomore honored this season among seven other seniors in District 6. She directs the offense for the Tigers, leading the team with 9.89 assists per set for a total of 930 assists on the season. Zwiebel is currently ranked sixth in the SEC in assists per set. She has nine double-doubles and a team-leading 17 aces on the year to go along with 38 blocks and 56 kills on 126 attempts.
First-team Academic All-District® honorees advance to the CoSIDA Academic All-America® Team ballot, with first-, second- and third-team Academic All-America honorees to be announced in December.