The 2012 Mabel-Canton volleyball team has proven to be winners both on the court and in the classroom. For the first time in school history, M-C has been named as Section 1A Team Academic Champions. In addition, two players have been named to the Academic All-State team.

In order to make the Academic All-State team, a player must be a senior with a grade point average of 3.8 or higher. Cougars Christy Welscher and Kristina Mengis both reached that goal this season.

Welscher played middle hitter, concluding her career with a second straight appearance on the SEC All-Conference team. She also received the Hardest Worker Award in team balloting for a second straight season. Head coach Lonnie Morken noted that this senior has led by example and always worked "very, very hard." She led the team with 61 total (solo and combined) blocks.

Right-side hitter Mengis also appears on the 2012 All-SEC team. Teammates voted to present her with the Team Player Award this year as well. Morken called her the "definition of a team player... She wants the team to win and will do anything to help accomplish that."

Junior outside hitter Belle Sand was named SEC Most Valuable Player for an unprecedented third straight year. In addition, Sand has been named to the All-State team for a second straight year. Morken described her as a "tremendous leaper, as important to our team with her ability to defend and serve receive (as attack)." She led the team with 352 kills, noted statewide for her blistering hits. She also led the team with 344 digs, and served 61 aces.

Two more juniors also made the All-SEC team. Setter Carly McCabe made a second straight appearance, as did outside hitter Lydia Geving. McCabe was also named Most Valuable Player in team voting. Earlier this year McCabe and Sand were both chosen for the All-Tournament Team at the Class A Showcase tourney in Burnsville. Geving broke the career record for ace serves this season with another year left to forge ahead. Morken said she is also a very consistent attacker and passer.

As far as McCabe, "A lot of times the setter doesn't get noticed because they aren't recording as many kills as the attackers, but every good team is led by a good setter. Carly is athletic and is able to get to many balls other setters aren't able to," Morken said. McCabe recorded 823 set assists.

Finally, junior libero Christine Lee received Honorable Mention on the All-Conference list. "I'm very proud of Christine," Morken added. "She improved a great deal this season and overall became a lot more consistent in serve receive. Her confidence keeps improving." As a back-row specialist, Lee led the team with 493 serves received.

In other team awards, junior middle hitter Sara Lind earned Most Improved Player for a second straight year. Joining the starting lineup in only her second year of volleyball, Lind has shown consistent improvement overall, adding especially to her hitting and blocking skills. In 2012 she recorded 55 total blocks, 112 kills.

Morken has just completed his 19th year as head coach. He has been named 2012 Section 1A Coach of the Year.