PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Louisville junior outside hitter Lola Arslanbekova and Villanova senior libero Kim Maroon were named to the AVCA All-America Third Team as announced by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. Seven other BIG EAST players earned honorable mention recognition. This is the 31st year the AVCA has distributed the awards, which will be handed out Dec. 16 at the AVCA All-America/Players of the Year banquet presented by Zamst in San Antonio, Texas.
Arslanbekova, the 2011 BIG EAST Player of the Year was one of two unanimous selections to the All-BIG EAST First Team. She led the team with 566 kills (4.96/set) and 13 double-doubles and was second on the team with 283 digs (2.48/set). She is already fifth in school history in career kills and ranks third nationally in kills per set. She earns All-America honors after two consecutive years as AVCA Honorable Mention.
It was a memorable year for Maroon as she set a NCAA record for digs per set, averaging 6.87 in the regular season. She also broke the Big East single-season record for digs by notching 749. She was tabbed as the Big East Libero of the Year for the second year in a row and was named to the All-Big East First-Team. She recorded 20 or more digs in a match on 20 separate occasions and notched 40 or more digs in a match three times. She also became the first player in Villanova history to record more than 2,000 digs. This is her first AVCA All-America award.
After qualifying for the NCAA Championship for the first time in program history, Marquette had three honorable mention selections. Junior Danielle Carlson led the the league with a .385 hitting percentage while averaging 2.77 kills per set. Senior Ciara Jones finished fifth in the league in kills with 3.59 per set. BIG EAST Freshman of the Year Chelsea Heier received the honor after leading the league in assists with 11.89 per set.
Cincinnati placed two players on the honorable mention list. Senior Missy Harpenau, who was named Most Outstanding Player of the BIG EAST Championship, finished eighth in the league with 3.37 kills per set. Junior Jordanne Scott was sixth in the BIG EAST with 3.54 kills per set and finished fourth with a .319 hitting percentage.
Louisville sophomore setter Taylor Brauneis was an honorable mention selection as she averaged 10.44 assists per set. Pittsburgh senior Kiesha Leggs also was recognized as she finished fourth in the league with 3.62 kills per set. She finished sixth in the conference with a .311 hitting percentage.
2011 BIG EAST AVCA All-America Selections
Lola Arslanbekova (Louisville, OH, Jr.)
Kim Maroon (Villanova, L, Sr.)
Missy Harpenau (Cincinnati, OH, Sr.)
Jordanne Scott (Cincinnati, RS/Opp., Jr.)
Taylor Brauneis (Louisville, S, So.)
Danielle Carlson (Marquette, MB, Jr.)
Chelsea Heier (Marquette, S, Fr.)
Ciara Jones (Marquette, OH, Sr.)
Kiesha Leggs (Pittsburgh, OH, Sr.)