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Lawing promoted to head coach after Hamilton leaves XU

December 11, 2012

     NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana has promoted Hannah Lawing to women's volleyball head coach. Lawing succeeds Christabell Hamilton, who resigned after leading the Gold Nuggets to Gulf Coast Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament championships and berths in the NAIA National Championship in both her seasons.
     Hamilton, whose teams were 45-15, left Xavier to rejoin her husband, University of Houston men's basketball assistant coach Ronnie Hamilton, who departed New Orleans in July after two seasons on the staff at Tulane. Hamilton is leaving coaching for the immediate future and will give birth to her first child, a daughter, in February.
     "We are sorry to see Christabell leave Xavier," said XU athletics director Dennis Cousin, who
     Hannah Lawing

Hannah Lawing
     Christabell Hamilton

Christabell Hamilton
announced the moves Tuesday. "Christabell did a great job building a solid foundation for our volleyball program. She was tremendously successful in a short amount of time.
     "But at the same time, I am excited to promote Hannah. I am confident that she will do an excellent job as our head volleyball coach and continue the success that Christabell started."
     Lawing joined the XU staff as an assistant coach in August and helped the Gold Nuggets finish 22-8 overall and 10-0 in the GCAC. They won four consecuitve matches to repeat as GCAC Tournament champion, and they lost in four sets at 13th-ranked Georgetown (Ky.) in the opening round of the NAIA tourney. The Nuggets also set a school record with 11 consecutive road victories. It was Lawing's first season as a collegiate coach after serving as a varsity assistant at Heathwood Hall Episcopal High School in Columbia, S.C., in 2011 and co-head coach of the South Carolina Midlands 18s Elite club team this year.
     "I am very excited," Lawing said. "I learned so much from Christabell in just a few months. I feel that I have the right resources around me to succeed the way Christabell did."
     Lawing graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2011 with a bachelor's degree in psychology. She played four seasons of volleyball for the Gamecocks and as a senior set a school record for digs per set with 4.89.
     Lawing was an outside hitter and defensive specialist with the Gamecocks. She was SEC Defensive Player of the Week twice as a senior and once as a freshman. She excelled in the classroom as a two-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member and made the dean's list.
     Lawing is third all-time at South Carolina with 1,334 digs and fifth with 3.35 digs per set. As a senior she posted the second-most digs in program history and the most in the rally-scoring era with 523. That year she also recorded a USC match-record 38 digs against Mississippi State. Lawing had 23 career double-doubles, including a career-high 28 kills and 14 digs in a four-set victory against Harvard in 2009.
     Lawing is a Winston-Salem, N.C., native and lived there 10 years before moving to the Atlanta area. She is a 2007 graduate of Lassiter High School in Marietta, Ga.
     "My coaching style will be very similar to Christabell's style," Lawing said. "Her teams were fundamenally sound. She emphasized passing, passing, passing — that's the way I learned volleyball."
     The Nuggets had no seniors this past season. Returnees include outside hitter Taylor Reuther, the GCAC Player of the Year and a Capital One Academic All-America® third-team selection in 2012; outside hitter Chinedu Echebelem, the 2012 GCAC Tournament MVP; and middle blocker Moira Kirk, the 2011 GCAC Freshman of the Year. All three will be juniors, and all three are two-time All-GCAC selections.
     Lawing can be reached in her office at (504) 520-7255 or by email at hlawing@xula.edu.
     Xavier is one of 38 U.S. colleges listed as a "Best Buy School" in the 2013 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges.


Gulf Coast Athletic Conference

National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
The Xavier Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets compete in Division I of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) as a member of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC). Xavier fields men's teams in basketball, cross country, tennis and track and field and women's teams in basketball, cross country, tennis, track and field and volleyball.

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