Robert Poole Wins 2017-18 Conference Carolinas Murphy Osborne Award!

Robert Poole Wins 2017-18 Conference Carolinas Murphy Osborne Award!

High Point, N.C. - The University of Mount Olive's men's volleyball student-athlete Robert Poole has been named the recipient of the 2017-18 Conference Carolinas Murphy Osborne Award, the top individual award presented by the conference. The annual award recognizes a senior student-athlete for excellence in academics, athletics, leadership, service, and involvement within the community.

A senior from Enfield, England, Poole is a Chemistry major with and a dual minor in Biology and Physics who holds a cumulative GPA of 3.94. Among his numerous academic and athletic awards are a 2017 College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All American 2nd-Team honor, a 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-District Three award, a 2017 Conference Carolinas Men's Volleyball Scholar-Athlete of the Year laurel, four Dean's List and three President's list honors, UMO Scholar-Athlete of the Month (March 2017), two Conference Carolinas Academic All-Conference teams and he was named the 2015-16 UMO Science Student of the Year.

On the court, Poole is a right side hitter for the men's volleyball team and leads the team in multiple categories both this season and in overall career stats. Poole is the team's leader in kills (299), kills per set (3.29), service aces (69), service aces per set (0.76), and total points scored (388). He leaves his mark on the men's volleyball program as the all-time leader in kills with 978 and service aces with 176 total. 

Trojan head men's volleyball coach David Heller had nothing but praise for Poole.

"We are all so proud of Robert and all he has contributed to the program and university over his time here. I knew back in the recruiting process that something was very special about Rob, and he only continued to mature as a student and athlete. He is so deserving of the accolades that come his way. But in true Rob fashion, he will attribute the work of his professors and teammates for helping him reach his goals. That's a true testament to the character that he possesses. It's been an absolute pleasure coaching Rob over the past four years and I know he will only continue to accomplish great things in the years to come."

Poole is also involved in a variety of different community service opportunities to help give back to the surrounding area. He was a volunteer assistant coach for the Eastern Elite Volleyball Club of North Carolina and the Southgate Juniors Volleyball Club in England, as well as acting as a mentor at the Mount Olive Boys & Girls Club. Poole and his peers on the volleyball team and the honors program also spent time visiting local retirement homes and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base spreading joy through small activities such as setting up family events, serving dinners, decorating pumpkins, and sitting and talking with residents of Goldsboro and Mount Olive. He also volunteered time at the Mount Olive Soup Kitchen where he cooked and served meals to members of the Mount Olive community.

Dr. Brenda Cates, a Mathematics Professor, the UMO Honors Program Director and Mount Olive's NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative said the following of Robert winning the award, "The Murphy Osborne Award is for academic excellence, outstanding athletic accomplishments, and exemplary service to the campus and community. Robert embodies all three of those things and is deserving of this recognition."

Robert was one of nine student-athletes from member institutions of Conference Carolinas that were selected as finalists for the 2017-18 Murphy Osborne Scholar-Athlete Award. Joining Poole on the list were Justin Alford of Barton College, Thomas Yoder of Belmont Abbey College, Elizabeth Schlesener of Converse College, Eduordo Gullino of Erskine College, Nicola Robertson of King University, Kylie Moyer of Limestone College, Madelynn Schober of North Greenville University, and Paige O'Connor of Southern Wesleyan University.

"The Murphy Osborne Award is the premier conference award, and Robert Poole is a premier student-athlete," stated Vice President for UMO Athletics, Jeff Eisen. "He is an outstanding student, athlete, and young man. You could not ask for a better representative of UMO or Conference Carolinas than Robert."

To be eligible for the award, a student must be a senior student-athlete with a minimum grade point average of 3.25. The student must be a full-time student at the time of nomination, must have been a full-time student for at least two years at the member school and must be a starter or key reserve in a conference sport. The recipient is selected by the Faculty Athletics Representatives of Conference Carolinas institutions.

Poole is just the third Trojan to receive the award in Mount Olive history joining the elite company of Francesca Ceppi (2014-15 - Women's Tennis) and Samantha Mitchell (2007-08 - Women's Volleyball/Track & Field).