Pair of Busy Seniors Honored as EWU Scholar-Athletes of the Month

Working on a double major in similar programs, Laney Brown and Grant Williams earn recognition from the EWU Athletic Department

One focus just wasn’t enough for these high-achieving student-athletes.

Senior Laney Brown from the Eastern Washington University volleyball team and senior Grant Williams from football have been tabbed as the December Scholar-Athletes of the month, announced Wednesday (Dec. 5) by the EWU Athletic Department.

This award recognizes the athletic and academic success of student-athletes, based primarily on performances turned in during the month prior.

Besides fulfilling their duties as Division I athletes, both Brown and Williams are double-majoring as students at EWU - and they’re doing it quite successfully. Brown boasts a 3.86 cumulative grade point average in recreation management and business, while Williams has maintained a 3.52 GPA in business management and community health. Brown will be selected to the Big Sky All-Academic team for the third year in a row, and Williams is expected to make his fourth-consecutive appearance on the prestigious list.

These two seniors have also played important roles this season in the gym and on the field. After overcoming an early-season injury, Brown started 22-consecutive matches for the Eagles at setter - arguably the most important position on the court. Williams has appeared in all 12 football games to date, which includes five starts at linebacker. He will be on the field again this Saturday (Dec. 8), when Eastern takes on Illinois State in the quarterfinals of the 2012 FCS Playoffs.

More on Brown

Brown led EWU to three exciting wins during the month of November, including two on the road against Northern Arizona and Southern Utah, and one at home against then-No. 1 Idaho State. Brown averaged 12.35 assists per set and 3.00 digs during the month, and also had 17 kills, six blocks and six service aces.

On Nov. 5, Brown was selected as the Big Sky Player of the Week for the first time in her career. Behind her leadership, the Eagles prevailed in a thrilling five-set match at NAU - a team that finished third overall in the Big Sky this season. EWU then made its first-ever trip to Cedar City, Utah, where it defeated the Thunderbirds in three sets.

Brown had 106 total assists that weekend, as well as 28 digs and nine kills on a .421 attack percentage. She was also flawless from behind the service line, without a single error in 27 serves. In the two matches combined, Eastern hit .285 as a team – significantly better than its .139 average from the previous 14 conference matches. Thanks to the superior quarterbacking of Brown, the Eagles had 131 total kills, which was 33 more kills than their two opponents.

Brown finished her senior season with a team-leading 11 double-doubles, five of which came in the month of November.

More on Williams

Williams is currently the fourth-leading tackler (70) on the Eastern football team that ranks 42nd in FCS in scoring defense (23.0). He was recently named to the All-Big Sky Conference Honorable Mention team as a linebacker.

Williams had a team-leading 12 tackles in EWU’s 31-28 win over Sacramento State (10/20), including 11 through three quarters when EWU held the Hornets to 162 yards. Sac State finished with just 288 – EWU’s second-best performance of the year. He had eight tackles in a 41-34 win over Portland State (11/17) when EWU wrapped up the Big Sky title and the league’s automatic berth in the FCS Playoffs.

He also has four tackles for loss this year, a pass broken up, a team-leading two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He has 154 tackles in his 48-game career (10 starts). Williams was a member of EWU’s 2010 squad which won the NCAA Division I title.

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