Volleyball Has Five Student-Athletes Earn AVCA All-Central Region Honors
DIII ALL-REGION TEAMS
St. Louis, Mo., November 11, 2010 – The No. 3 Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team had five student-athletes earn 2010 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) First-Team All-Central Region accolades, as announced Thursday by the organization.
Sophomore setter Marilee Fisher and sophomore libero Kelly Pang were tabbed as All-Central Region selections for the second year in a row. Freshman outside hitter Meghan Byrne, junior middle hitter Lauren Budde and sophomore outside hitter Drew Hargrave each earned the distinction for the first time.
Having just been named University Athletic Association (UAA) Rookie of the Year earlier in the week, Byrne was named the Central Region Freshman of the Year by the AVCA. This marks the first time in school history Washington University has had a student-athlete earn region Freshman of the Year accolades in back-to-back seasons, with Pang being tabbed as the region’s top freshman a year ago.
Washington University was the only school in the nation to have five student-athletes named as first-team all-region selections, and all five are now eligible for All-America consideration. The 2010 AVCA Division III All-America teams will be announced at the NCAA Division III National Championship Banquet, to be held Thursday, Nov. 18, at the St. Louis Ballpark Hilton Hotel in St. Louis, Mo., beginning at 7 p.m.
Fisher is turning in another stellar season powering the Bears’ offensive attack. With 1,067 assists this year, she is averaging an outstanding 11.60 assists per set, which ranks second in Division III, while Washington U. has posted a team hitting percentage of .284, one of the best clips in Division III. Fisher is also has 174 digs and 39 total blocks, and recorded a season-high 58 assists in a win over Millsaps College on Oct. 30.
Pang established herself as one of the top liberos in the nation as a freshman, and did not lose a step during her sophomore campaign, tallying 462 digs in 26 matches, an average of 5.37 per set. Her season high came against Juniata College on Sept. 18, when she corralled 32 digs, one off her career best effort. She has topped 30 digs twice this season and has had at least 15 digs in 17 matches.
As a freshman Byrne has managed to turn in some of the most impressive offensive numbers in the nation. She leads Washington University with 358 kills, an average of 3.23 per set, while hitting a team-best .360 for the year. Her difficult jump serve has yielded 35 aces, which ranks third on the team, and she has 32 total blocks. Byrne recorded a career-best 20 kills while hitting .514 against Emory on Nov. 6, and has tallied at least 10 kills on 20 occassions.
Budde almost never comes off the floor for Washington University and serves as one of the squad’s most versatile players. She ranks second on the team with 352 kills, averaging a team-best 3.45 per set, and is second in digs with 300. Budde also leads the team with 41 aces and 88 total blocks (24 solo, 64 assists). She has 15 double-doubles this year and recorded her first-career triple double against Dominican University on Oct. 29, when she has 13 kills, 11 digs and 10 blocks.
Hargrave developed into a fierce attacker on the outside as a freshman, and built on that momentum during her sophomore season. With 334 kills this year, she ranks third on the team, and his hitting .322, the second-best effort of the Bears’ front row attackers. Hargrave has reached double-digit kills on 16 occasions in 2010, and notched a career-best 18 kills against Hanover College in a 3-0 win on Oct. 30.
The Bears will compete in the NCAA Midwest Regional, hosted Friday-Sunday, Nov. 12-14, on the campus of Carthage College in Kenosha, Wis. Washington University’s first-round opponent will be Beloit College, the 2010 champion of the Midwest Conference. That match will take place on Friday, Nov. 12, at 3 p.m.