WINSTON-SALEM — Just a few months after helping lift North Surry girls’ basketball to arguably its greatest season ever, Maggie Hawks played a key role in what is indubitably the best season in Salem College volleyball history.
The Spirits completed their 2017 season on Halloween afternoon in the USA South Conference tournament in Danville, Va, where Salem lost to Methodist University. This wasn’t how Salem wanted to end the season, but it was still a year filled with accomplishments for the program.
The Spirits completed the season with a record of 21-12. No Salem volleyball team had ever won more than 14 matches in a season until this year’s team did it with a sweep of Hollins University on Oct. 12. The Spirits went on to not only reach the 15-win barrier, but to shatter the 20-win mark on Oct. 20, when they beat Meredith in four sets.
Hawks, who signed with the Spirits on April 26 after a stellar four-year run in both volleyball and basketball for the Lady Greyhounds. The signing was a recruiting coup for Salem, as Hawks had originally planned to play for Division II Lenoir-Rhyne before changing her mind and signing with the Spirits.
She broke into the starting lineup for Salem immediately when fall practice began. As the Spirits’ starting libero, she finished second in USA South with 587 digs. She was named to the second team All-East Division of USA South, was named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Week three times (Sept. 4, 11 and 25), and on Nov. 2, was named as the USA South Conference Rookie of the Year.
She already owns one school record. On Sept. 21, Hawks broke Salem’s single-match record for digs, racking up 43 in a loss to Methodist University. The performance helped earn her Defensive Player of the Week honors for that week.
The conference ROY award is open to all conference newcomers, not just incoming freshmen, but Hawks not only beat out all of the other freshmen, but also a number of experienced college players on other teams who had come down from higher levels of competition.
Hawks is the first Salem volleyball player to earn an individual honor from the conference since Salem entered the league. All awards are voted on by the volleyball coach at each institution. The divisional team voting is completed only by those coaches in the particular division. The all-conference and individual award voting is completed by all coaches.
Hawks and her teammates will look to build on their record-setting 2017 season next year. Only one of the top seven players for this year’s team was a senior.
She was one of four freshmen from Surry County who signed with the Spirits last spring, along with Cameron Sloop (East Surry), Corrin Shores (Elkin) and Grayce Goins (Surry Central). Sloop was also one of the top freshmen in the league in her own right, ranking fifth on the team with 147 kills as a regular part of the Salem rotation, including a number of starting assignments.
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