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UW–La Crosse standout and Benton graduate Emma Lawrence racks up post-season honors
Emma Lawrence
UW–La Crosse senior Emma Lawrence was named first team All-WIAC for the third-straight season, as well as AVCA All-Region 8, was voted onto the AVCA All-America second team and also named to the 2021 Academic All-District Volleyball Team, selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.

by Tom Gunnell, Tri-County Press/Republican Journal

Emma Lawrence, Sr., OH, UW–La Crosse women's volleyball
LA CROSSE — UW–La Crosse student–athlete Emma Lawrence has racked up a slew of post-season awards following her sensational senior season with the Eagles’ women’s volleyball team.

After being selected to the 2021 All-Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) First Team for the third straight season and getting named to the 2021 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-Region 8 Team for the first time in her career, Lawrence was voted onto the AVCA All-America Second Team and also named to the 2021 Academic All-District Volleyball Team, selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

The Eagles’ outside hitter was one of 14 players selected to the All-America squad and one of seven one of seven student-athletes voted to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III District 6 First Team. First-, second- and third-team Academic All-America honorees will be announced in mid-December.

Lawrence, a 2018 graduate of Benton High School, is the ninth player in school history to earn AVCA All-America First or Second Team honors and the seventh player in UWL history to earn at least three first team all-conference honors. 

Starting all 31 matches and playing in all 110 sets this year, Lawrence led the Eagles (20-11 overall, 4-3 in the WIAC) in kills (462, 4.20 per set), total attempts (1,207), points (521.0, 4.74) and aces (40).  She ranked second on the squad in digs (355, 3.23).  The 462 kills this year ranks sixth in single-season school history while the 1,207 attempts rank 11th.

Lawrence ranked second in the WIAC in kills and points per set, while finishing eighth in digs and ninth in aces. She finished with at least 10 kills in 25 matches and recorded 20 or more kills in eight matches, including in two of the last three matches of the season with a season-high 26 against Hamline University (Minn.) on Sept. 18 and versus UW-Platteville on Oct. 2. She had double-digit digs in 18 matches in 2021 with a career-high 28 versus UW-Platteville.

Lawrence reached a career milestone with the Eagles’ women’s volleyball team when she pounded down her 1,000th career kill in a match against Loras College at Edgewood College’s Todd Wehr Edgedome in Madison on Saturday, Sept. 25.

In her career, Lawrence finishes with 1,222 kills, 728 digs, 93 blocks, 59 assists and 63 aces in 325 sets played with the Eagles. She ranks fifth in school history in kill attempts (3,581) and sixth in kills (1,222). 

Lawrence, the daughter of Rick and Lisa Lawrence of Benton, is a Biology major with a concentration in biomedical sciences and a minor in Spanish with a 3.77 grade point average. 

She is a three-time member of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Scholastic Honor Roll. She is a six-time member of UWL’s Dean’s List and was named to the 2021 CoSIDA Academic All-District Track & Field/Cross Country Team.