The Montana State University-Northern volleyball team had its best season in seven years, going 5-7 in the Frontier Conference and 13-13 overall.
It was quite the turnaround for the Skylights and a pair of Northern players were honored with postseason awards.
MSU-N right side junior Hillary Isleifson was named Frontier First-Team All-Conference for 2011. Isleifson is from Carlyle, Sask., and transferred to Northern from Oklahoma Panhandle State. She’s the first Skylight to be selected to the first team since Jordan Fox earned the honor in 2004. Isleifson led Northern in several categories this season, including kills and hitting percentage. She totaled 241 kills which was fifth-best in the Frontier. Isleifson also racked up 44 total blocks, including 20 solos, as well as 143 assists and 148 digs.
Northern senior outside hitter Ashley Lawson was also honored as a recipient of the NAIA Champions of Character Award. One player of each of the Frontier schools was honored with the award which is given to players who meet the NAIA’s Five Core Values – Integrity, Respect, Responsibility, Sportsmanship and Leadership on the court and in the classroom. Lawson came to Northern from Oxbow, Sask., and has been a key four-year player for the Skylights.
The Frontier All-Conference list also included first-team selections Ellie Graff and Markki Otteson of Carroll College, Nicole Graybeal, Lauryn Herrick and Kelli Tikker of Lewis-Clark State, Kriston Barott, Jillian Bates and Sara Brunner of Rocky Mountain College, Taylor Lucero and Kelsey Van Uden of UGF and Ashley Marchant of Westminster.