PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Senior Lola Arslanbekova of Louisville was named to the AVCA All-America Second Team and senior teammate Gwen Rucker was 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 32nd year the AVCA has distributed awards, which will be presented on Dec. 14 in Louisville, Ky. at the AVCA All-America/Players of the Year Banquet.
Arslanbekova, the BIG EAST Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, led the Cardinals to BIG EAST regular season and BIG EAST tournament titles. The senior was a unanimous All-BIG EAST First Team selection for the second straight year and led the conference with 596 kills and 646 points. As of Dec. 2, she ranked fourth in the country in kills per set (4.93) and seventh in points per set (5.34). She finished her career as the all-time kills leader in Louisville history and tallied over 2,000 kills and 1,000 digs during her four-year tenure. This marks her fourth AVCA All-America laurel. She was a third team honoree as a junior and an honorable mention choice as a freshman and sophomore.
Rucker, an All-BIG EAST First Team selection, led the BIG EAST in hitting percentage (.405) and blocks (1.33 per set). As of Dec. 2, she ranked eighth nationally in hitting percentage with 282 totals kills on 555 attempts. The senior was named Most Outstanding Player of the BIG EAST Championship and set a league record in a 3-0 win against St. John’s with an .867 hitting percentage. She was named an AVCA All-America Third Team selection for the first time and earned honorable mention in 2010.
Marquette had three honorable mentions for the third-straight year after making its second NCAA Championship appearance in program history. Seniors Danielle Carlson and Holly Mertens and junior Elizabeth Koberstein helped lead the Golden Eagles to a program-record 13 BIG EAST wins and a 27-7 overall mark. Carlson earned her second consecutive honorable mention with a .398 hitting percentage and 370 kills. Mertens totaled 419 kills and averaged 3.35 per set with a .333 hitting percentage and Koberstein led the league in assists with 1,455 total and averaged 11.64 per set.
Notre Dame had a pair of sophomores earn honorable mentions; Toni Alugbue and Jeni Houser. Alugbue ranked fifth in the BIG EAST in kills and sixth in points with 3.45 and 4.00 per set respectively. Houser ranked in the top 10 in the BIG EAST in three statistical categories. She finished eighth in hitting percentage (.324), ninth in kills (3.32 per set) and 10th in points (3.79 per set).
Senior Jordanne Scott of Cincinnati earned her third consecutive honorable mention. The senior ranked second in the conference in kills with 4.41 per set and totaled 512. Louisville junior Caitlin Welch was selected as an honorable mention for the first time. She finished fourth in the conference in digs with 5.19 per set.
2012 BIG EAST AVCA All-America Selections
Lola Arslanbekova (Louisville, OH, Sr.)
Gwen Rucker (Louisville, MB, Sr.)
Jordanne Scott (Cincinnati, OH, Sr.)
Caitlin Welch (Louisville, L/DS, Jr.)
Danielle Carlson (Marquette, MB, Sr.)
Elizabeth Koberstein (Marquette, S, Jr.)
Holly Mertens (Marquette, RS/Opp., Sr.)
Toni Alugbue (Notre Dame, OH, So.)
Jeni Houser (Notre Dame, RS/Opp., So.)