Pang Earns AVCA Central Region Freshman of the Year Honors
St. Louis, Mo., November 12, 2009 – The No. 4 ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team had three student-athletes earn 2009 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-Central Region team honors, as announced Thursday by the Association. Additionally, Washington University head coach Rich Luenemann was named the Central Region Coach of the Year for the second season in a row.
Senior middle hitter Erin Albers, freshman setter Marilee Fisher and freshman libero Kelly Pang each garnered first-team all-region honors, and Pang was tabbed as the Central Region Freshman of the Year.
Pang becomes the first Washington University student-athlete to earn region Freshman of the Year honors since Colleen Winter achieved the feat in 2001. Having one of the best statistical seasons as a primary passer in school history, Pang has recorded 577 digs in her first year on the Danforth Campus, and currently sits just 29 digs shy of the Washington U. single-season mark of 606, set by Nicole Hodgman in 2003.
Pang earned first-team all-University Athletic Association (UAA) honors on Wednesday, after leading the league with 5.50 digs per set, which ranks 39th in NCAA Division III. She has topped 30 digs in a match on three occasions in 2009, and recorded more than 20 digs in 13 contests.
Luenemann earns AVCA Central Region Coach of the Year honors for the fourth time in his career, and it marks the first time he has received the honor in back-to-back seasons. With Luenemann at the helm, the Bears posted a 28-4 overall regular season record against a rigorous national schedule. Washington University has faced 10 teams ranked in the AVCA top-25 poll this season, posting a 7-3 record in those contests.
Over the past 11 seasons Luenemann has led Washington U. to a 374-52 (.878) overall record, 11-straight NCAA tournament appearances and a pair of national championships (2003, 2007).
Albers earns first-team all-Central region honors for the third-year in a row. She garnered first-team all-UAA accolades when the conference postseason teams were announced on Wednesday. Albers leads Washington University with 348 kills and a hitting percentage of .355, while ranking second with 94 total blocks. Her .355 attacking percentage ranks 15th in NCAA Division III.
With 961 kills in her career, Albers needs just 39 more scores to reach 1,000 for her career. She also ranks eighth in school history in solo blocks (95) and block assists (258), and her 353 total blocks rank ninth at WU.
Fisher leads NCAA Division III with 11.49 assists per set, and has 781 assists on the season. With Fisher leading the offense, the Bears rank first in NCAA Division III with 14.64 kills per set. A second-team all-UAA honoree, she also has 80 kills, 20 service aces, 99 digs and 40 total blocks in 2009. Her season-high in assists of 62 came in the Bears’ five-set victory over the University of St. Thomas on Sept. 19.
Washington University (28-4) hosts the NCAA Central Regional from Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 12-14, at the WU Field House in St. Louis, Mo.