Dec. 14, 2005
Notre Dame senior MB Lauren Brewster (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood H.S.) was named a second-team All-American by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA), when the organization announced its national awards for the 2005 season on Wednesday. Brewster, who was a third-team All-American in ’04 and an honorable-mention selection in ’03, is the first Notre Dame player ever to be named to one of the top two All-America teams by any organization. She also is one of just five players in Division I to be an AVCA All-American and CoSIDA Academic All-American in 2005. Fellow senior OH Lauren Kelbley (Bascom, Ohio/Hopewell-Loudon H.S.) was honorable mention All-America for the third year in a row, and sophomore OH Adrianna Stasiuk (Park Ridge, Ill./Maine South H.S.) joined her in gaining honorable-mention accolades.
The AVCA announced three teams of 12 All-Americans, while 64 other players – the remaining all-region selections – were all named honorable mention. The awards will be presented on Friday at the AVCA All-America/Player of the Year Banquet at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter Hotel, which Brewster is scheduled to attend.
Brewster was considered one of the elite middle blockers in the nation, as just one – Nebraska senior Melissa Elmer, who holds a huge advantage in the NCAA leaders in individual blocking – was selected to the first team. The Irish senior was one of seven middles to be listed on the second team, along with Stanford’s Foluke Akinradewo, Kristen Andre of Tennessee, Leticia Armstrong from Texas, Louisville’s Jennifer Hoffman, Victoria Prince from Hawai’i, and Melissa Walbridge of Penn State.
All four other players who were both athletic and Academic All-Americans this year will be competing this weekend in the final rounds of the NCAA tournament. The others in that elite group of student-athletes are junior OH Christina Houghtelling (1st team athletic, 1st team academic) and sophomore OPP Sarah Pavan (1st team athletic, 1st team academic) from Nebraska and the Washington duo of senior L Candace Lee (2nd team athletic, 2nd team academic) and junior S Courtney Thompson (1st team athletic, 2nd team academic). Brewster was a second-team Academic All-American, the first Irish player to be so honored since 1997.
It is the fourth time that a Notre Dame volleyball player has been named an All-American. OH Christy Peters was a third-team selection by Volleyball magazine in both 1993 and ’94 (the AVCA honored just two teams then), and Brewster became the program’s first AVCA All-American a year ago. Notre Dame has seen its players be tabbed honorable mention All-America on 11 occasions, including seven times over the past three seasons since the current system was adopted. Brewster and Kelbley are the only Irish players ever to earn some type of All-America mention in three different campaigns. Stasiuk joins that duo – which did so in 2003 – to be the only ND student-athletes ever to gain All-America accolades as sophomores.
Brewster became the first two-time All-American in BIG EAST history. She joined Hoffman and another senior from Louisville, conference player of the year Lena Ustymenko, were all listed on the second team. It is the first time ever that the conference has had multiple All-Americans in the same season. That trio also joined Pittsburgh’s Ann Marie Lucanie (1993) as the only BIG EAST players ever to be tabbed to the AVCA All-America Second Team. No conference competitor has ever been a first-team selection.
Brewster was one of only five players to be an All-American for the second consecutive year and to move up at least one team in 2005. USC senior OH Bibiana Candelas equaled her rise, while Florida senior OH Jane Collymore rose from third team in ’04 to this year’s first team. Both S Lindsey Hunter of Missouri and OH Laura Jones from Texas A&M were first-team selections in 2005 after being on the second team as juniors.
She is the 45th Notre Dame student-athlete in any sport – the first in volleyball – to be both an All-American and Academic All-American in the same season. Brewster is the first Irish competitor to pull that difficult double since distance runners Lauren King and Todd Mobley both did so in 2003-04. Among the other notables in the group are football’s Joe Theismann (1970), Dave Casper (1973), and Ken MacAfee (1977) and basketball players Bob Arnzen (1967, ’68), Kelly Tripucka (’79), John Paxson (’82, ’83), Pat Garrity (’98), and Ruth Riley (’00, ’01).
The selections were made by head coaches comprising the AVCA Division I All-America Committee: Colorado’s Pi’i Aiu (chair), Stanford’s John Dunning, Auburn’s Laura Farina, Utah State’s Burt Fuller, American’s Barry Goldberg, Illinois-Chicago’s Nancy Mueller, Duke’s Jolene Nagel, and Michigan’s Mark Rosen. The AVCA Awards Chair is New Hampshire head coach Jill Hirschinger.
Notre Dame finished the season with a 30-4 record and reached the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1997, losing in five games to Wisconsin. The Irish, currently ranked ninth after peaking at an all-time high of #5 in October, put together a 15-match winning streak and spent 11 weeks in the top 10 of the AVCA poll. Notre Dame – which went 4-0 against top-10 squads – earned a share of a its 10th regular-season title in 11 years of BIG EAST membership and also prevailed in the conference tournament for the ninth time.
See below season biographical sketches of Notre Dame’s All-America honorees:
#12 Lauren BrewsterSr. â€¢ MB â€¢ 6-3 â€¢ Brentwood, TN â€¢ Brentwood H.S. â€¢ Impact VBC
One of the top middle blockers in the nation has the ability to dominate matches both offensively and defensively … one of only five Division I players to be an AVCA All-American and CoSIDA Academic All-American in 2005 … the second All-American in program history earned third-team accolades in 2004 and moved up to the second team in ’05 (only one middle was on the first team) … one of the most accomplished and decorated players ever to play for the Irish … named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Second Team, becoming the third Academic All-American in program history (first since 1997) … the 45th Notre Dame student-athletes (across all sports – the first in volleyball) to be an athletic All-American and Academic All-American in the same season … one of just five Academic All-Americans who also reached the NCAA round of 16 … tabbed the BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year in 2005 after being the conference tournament MVP in ’04 … first-team all-BIG EAST pick in final three seasons (unanimous in ’04 and ’05) to become the first player from any school since 1997 to be a three-time selection on that team (and just sixth overall and second in Irish history, along with Jaimie Lee, 1995-97) … named to thee AVCA all-Northeast Region team in 2003, `04, and `05 … continued to excel in her final season, saving her best performances for the biggest matches … in the six Irish matches against nationally-ranked teams (ND was 5-1), she averaged 4.27 kills per game to go with 1.58 blocks for 5.31 points per game … increased her scoring production, boasting career highs in both kills (476/3.84) and points (614/4.95) … one of the co-captains on a Notre Dame team that established itself as one of the best in school history … voted to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District 5 First Team, becoming the first Irish player since 1998 to earn academic all-district accolades from the College Sports Information Directors of America … the 2003 NCAA blocking champion ranks among Division I leaders in that category for the fourth consecutive season (9th, 1.63 per game) … also has Notre Dame among the top six nationally in team blocking (6th, 3.56 per game) for the fourth consecutive season … finished with career-high 202 blocks, the most by an Irish player in 17 years and just four shy of the Notre Dame record of 206 by Mary Kay Waller in 1988 … led the BIG EAST in blocking for the fourth consecutive season (her eighth BIG EAST statistical crown, the most in program history) … one of just two players who was among the BIG EAST leaders in four categories, also ranking fourth in points and eighth in hitting percentage (.310) and kills … combined with Lauren Kelbley to make ND the only team with two in the league leaders in points and paired with Carolyn Cooper to give the Irish two of the BIG EAST’s top six blockers … in conference action, she finished third in hitting percentage (.396), fourth in points (5.03), fifth in blocks (1.43), and seventh in kills (4.02) … led Notre Dame in all four of those categories was tops on the Irish in both kills and hitting percentage for the second consecutive season after no Irish player had done that since 1991 (Marilyn Cragin) … was team’s top performer during torrid start to season that saw Irish pull off three upsets of top-15 teams … tabbed MVP of The Inn at Saint Mary’s Shamrock Invitational (10 GP, 46 K, .310, 15 B, 10 D, 56.5 pts.) and the UTSA Dome Rally (10 GP, 52 K, 18 B, 63.5 pts.), one of the nation’s top in-season tournaments, featuring four nationally-ranked teams, to bring her career total of tournament MVP awards to five … was ND’s top performer in winning the BIG EAST tournament, posting 3.25 kills per game on .318 hitting to go with 2.17 blocks and 4.62 points per game … became the first player from any school since the Irish joined the league in 1995 to be the solo BIG EAST Player of the Week in back-to-back weeks, winning the honor on Sept. 5 and 12 … her eight awards of that type are by far the most in Irish history … also has been listed on BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll five times (8/29, 10/10, 10/31, 11/7, 11/14) … became the first Notre Dame player since 1993 to be named National Player of the Week by any organization, winning the honor from Collegiate Volleyball Update on Sept. 6 after the Shamrock Invitational … posted 10 kills on .381 hitting to go with four digs and two blocks in the two game fives in that tournament, leading the Irish to a pair of victories … averaged 2.47 kills to go with 0.97 digs and 0.97 blocks for 3.03 points in her career in fifth games … is all over the Irish record book, ranking among the top 10 in 15 categories … broke the ND records for career total blocks (734, previous record was 699 by Mary Kay Waller from 1985-88) and block assists (610, previous record was 516 by Mary Leffers from 1996-99) … also ranks second all-time in attack percentage (.314) and block average (1.65) and third in kills (1,485) … in BIG EAST final at #7 Louisville, became the fifth player in Irish history – and the first to play predominantly at middle blocker – to register 1,400 career kills … is the only player to rank among Notre Dame’s all-time top five in both hitting percentage and kills … on other career lists, ranks third in solo blocks (124), third in matches with 10+ kills (81), fifth in kill average (3.34) and matches leading the team in kills (44), sixth in attack attempts (3,376), and seventh in matches with 20+ kills (8) … combined with Lauren Kelbley to be just the second set of classmates to post 1,400 kills each … together they put down 2,948 kills, the second-highest total by Notre Dame classmates (3,023 by current AVP players Angie Harris and Jaimie Lee from 1994-97) … played in 444 of the 458 games over the past four seasons, a 96.9% mark that broke the Irish record (was 96.5% by Jenny Birkner from 1993-96) … played in all 126 matches, joining join Birkner and Janelle Karlan (1990-93) as the only Irish players ever to play in every match during their Notre Dame careers … her outputs in 2005 place among the all-time Irish season top-10 lists in total blocks (2nd), solo blocks (3rd, 50), matches with 10+ kills (T-3rd, 28), kills (5th), block average (9th), matches with team-high kills (T-9th, 15) … holds four of the top 11 season block averages in ND history … led Irish in blocks 21 times, points 17 times, kills 15 times, attack percentage on 11 occasions, and twice in aces … had nine or more kills in 32 of 34 matches this season and 10+ in 28 (81 during her career) … hit over .300 in 16 of the final 21 matches (.400+ 10 times, .500+ three times) and on 20 occasions overall this season … hit .500+ on 17 occasions during her career and has notched double-digit blocks 16 times … began the season with 16 kills on .416 hitting and six blocks in a three-game win against Michigan … registered 18 kills and 12 blocks (her 18th career double-double) to go with five digs and two aces for 25.5 points in five-game upset of #11 Texas … delivered solo block on Dariam Acevedo on game point to put Irish up 2-0 … had three kills – including one on match point – and two blocks in final 11 points after Irish trailed 8-6 in decisive game vs. Longhorns … followed that up with a career-high 28 kills on .328 hitting and season-high 31 points the next day vs. Arizona State … that marked the second-most kills ever by a Notre Dame middle blocker and the most by any player in the Joyce Center since 2000 … had 17 kills and six blocks in upset of #8 USC … posted 20 kills – a career high in a three-game match – on .429 hitting to go with seven blocks for 24.5 points in upset of #6 Florida … had 14 kills on .448 hitting vs. Seton Hall … posted 17 kills on .389 hitting against St. John’s and 16 kills on .483 hitting at Connecticut the following day … posted 15 kills on .545 hitting at DePaul … registered eight blocks vs. Illinois State … had 12 kills on 22 errorless swings for .545 hitting vs. South Florida … hit season-high .571 (10 kills, 2 errors, 14 attempts) and had eight blocks against Georgetown … once again came through with big match against a top-10 team, posting 20 timely kills on .366 hitting against #6 Louisville … kill at 26-26 ignited late run in first game that ended 30-28 … posted kills on three of final five points in game two after Louisville cut lead to 27-26 … broke 25-25 game-four tie with a kill that sent Irish to victory … joined Adrianna Stasiuk, who also had 20 kills, to be the first Irish duo to have 20 kills each since Oct. 8, 2000 (Christi Girton-30, Kristy Kreher-22) … had 17 kills on .481 hitting at West Virginia and 20 on .364 hitting at Pittsburgh … did not make an error in two matches over the final weekend of the BIG EAST season, slamming 19 kills on 42 attempts (.452) and adding nine blocks against Villanova and Rutgers … posted 15 kills on .400 hitting to go with eight blocks for 20 points in BIG EAST quarterfinals against Villanova … turned in 11 blocks (two solo) in semis vs. Cincinnati, matching the highest total by an Irish player in a three-game match in the 15-year Debbie Brown era … was the top performer in the BIG EAST title match, posting a match-high 19 kills on .359 hitting to go with seven blocks for a match-high 24 points … ended 31-29 game two with a kill and had two kills and a solo block to lead the Irish to an insurmountable 8-3 advantage in the decisive fifth game … posted 15 kills without an error on .484 hitting against Rice … notched 12 kills and eight blocks vs. Tennessee … posted 16 kills on .333 hitting to go with nine kills in NCAA first round against Dayton … had two kills – one on match point – and three blocks in fifth game to stave off Flyers’ upset attempt … notched 10 timely kills and nine blocks in second-round sweep of Northwestern … pounded five kills during the final 10 points of game two (32-30 ND win), including four in a row when the score was tied … also notched a kill on match point … registered 17 kills and team-best seven blocks for 21.5 points in NCAA round of 16 against Wisconsin.
#6 Lauren KelbleySr. â€¢ OH/MB â€¢ 6-1 â€¢ Bascom, OH â€¢ Hopewell-Loudon H.S. â€¢ Black Swamp VBC
Talented and versatile player established herself as one of the best in Notre Dame history … stands as the only current Division I hitter to have been an AVCA all-region selection in each of her four seasons (Minnesota libero Paula Gentil also shares that distinction) … also was AVCA honorable mention All-America in 2003, ’04, and `05 … one of just three players from any school ever to be tabbed to the all-BIG EAST teams in each of her four seasons (first team in 2003 and ’05, second team in ’02 and ’04) … named to NCAA tournament College Station Regional All-Tournament Team for 18-kill performance against Wisconsin in round of 16 … key leader on one of the best teams in Notre Dame history … one of the most-reliable producers ever to wear an Irish uniform, as she posted 10+ kills on 90 occasions during her career (28 In 2005), more than any other player in ND history (record was 88 by current AVP player Angie Harris from 1994-97) … became the sixth Irish player ever to post 1,400 career kills in regular-season finale against Tennessee … finished career with 1,463 kills, which ranks as the fifth-best total in Notre Dame history … improved her serving throughout her career, increasing her ace output in each of the last three seasons … led Irish in 2005 with 43 aces (0.35 per game) … that placed her seventh on the all-time Irish list of top season ace totals … ranked ninth in BIG EAST in points (4.38 per game) … combined with Lauren Brewster to make Notre Dame the only school with multiple players among the league leaders in points … in league-only action, she was tied for eighth in the BIG EAST (17/0.36) in aces … in addition to leading team in aces, also ranked second on Irish in kills (441/3.56), hitting percentage (.285), and points (543.5) … posted career-best numbers this season in kills and points … ranks among Irish career leaders in 16 categories, including fourth in service aces (120) and kill average (3.35) … other rankings include third in attack attempts (3,510), fourth in percentage of games played (95.4%), fifth in matches with 20+ kills (10), sixth in hitting percentage (.291) and solo blocks (79), tied for seventh in percentage of matches played (97.6%), eighth in total blocks (416), and ace average (0.27), eighth in matches leading the Irish in kills (39), and tied for 10th in games played (437) … combines with Lauren Brewster to be just the second set of classmates to post 1,400 kills each … together they put up 2,948 kills, the second-highest total by Notre Dame classmates (3,023 by current AVP players Angie Harris and Jaimie Lee from 1994-97) … led Irish in aces 15 times this season and was tops in kills 10 times, attack percentage on eight occasions, points seven times, and blocks four times … also a big reason that ND had a service ace-to-error ratio of 0.758, the second-best in Irish history (1.030 in 1996) … listed on BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Oct. 3 … began season with 15 kills on .361 hitting to go with three aces against Michigan … recorded first career double-double against Arizona State, finishing with 18 kills and 10 digs, plus four blocks for 22 points … posted season-high 25 kills and three aces for 29 points in Notre Dame’s four-game upset of #8 USC … had seven kills in game two, including two that erased game points after the Women of Troy (already up a game) led 29-27 … final kill came on match point to give ND first win over USC since 1995 … her 10th kill against #6 Florida came at 28-28 in the third game to give the Irish a match point – which they converted … also had a kill to finish game one … had 15 kills on .412 hitting and five blocks and three aces at Tulane … posted 13 kills on .367 hitting against Seton Hall … pounded 24 kills on 32 attempts for .688 attack percentage at Loyola Chicago … also matched career high with four aces (and no service errors) against the Ramblers … had 15 kills on .324 hitting vs. Syracuse … posted 13 kills and three blocks vs. Valparaiso … posted 14 kills and no errors on 22 swings for .636 hitting mark against DePaul … turned in six blocks at Illinois State … had nine kills on 18 attempts for .444 hitting vs. South Florida … had 11 kills, seven digs, three aces, and two blocks in four-game win against #6 Louisville … finished with 13 kills on .357 hitting vs. Cincinnati … registered 14 kills on .565 hitting against Saint Louis … had 16 kills and five digs at Pittsburgh … had 13 kills against Villanova and #7 Louisville in the BIG EAST tournament … converted half of 14 swings for kills (.429 hitting) in semis against Cincinnati … matched season high with three solo blocks against the Cardinals … had 10 kills on 18 errorless attempts (.556) against Rice to go with a season-high seven blocks … posted 22 kills and only one error for .412 attack percentage in five-game loss to Tennessee … had a dozen kills in NCAA opening round against Dayton … followed that up with one of the top hitting performances in Irish NCAA history, converting 13 of 23 attempts for kills and making just a single error for a .522 hitting mark … posted 18 kills, five digs, and 19.5 points in round of 16 vs. Wisconsin.
#10 Adrianna Stasiuk So. â€¢ OH/OPP â€¢ 5-10 â€¢ Park Ridge, IL â€¢ Maine South H.S. â€¢ Sports Performance VBC
Notre Dame’s best all-around player was a big contributor for the second year in a row … tabbed honorable mention All-America by the AVCA … filled role as a starting outside hitter after playing some libero early in season … the only sophomore named to the AVCA all-Northeast Region team … named to all-BIG EAST second team and was the BIG EAST Championship Most Outstanding Player (12 GP, 35 K, 33 D, 3 SA, 39.5 pts.) … made Notre Dame the first school ever to have multiple players honored as Collegiate Volleyball Update’s National Player of the Week (following Lauren Brewster) by winning the award on Oct. 25 after having outstanding all-around week … averaged 4.30 kills on .396 hitting to go with 3.90 digs and 1.50 blocks for 5.75 points per game in wins against Illinois State, South Florida, and Georgetown … during that week, she posted match-high numbers on nine occasions in six different categories … was the only non-libero among the BIG EAST leaders in digs, coming in eighth in overall play (427/3.85) and finishing eighth in conference action (174/3.70) … paired with Meg Henican to make ND the only team to have two players among the conference digging leaders … that duo combined for 1,055 digs, which is the most ever by Irish teammates in a season, topping their own mark of 884 in 2004 … became only the fourth Irish player ever to post 400 digs in a season … also one of the team’s top two serve receivers, combining with Henican the last two years to make that an Irish strength … a year ago, they held opponents to just 0.96 aces per game (the second-best mark in program history) … this season, the Irish surrendered just 0.80 per game, which broke the Notre Dame record (was 0.94 in 2003) … took 31% of serves and made just 28 errors in 828 attempts, a reception percentage of 96.6% … went five straight matches without a reception error from Oct. 5-17 … also combined with Henican to make this one of the best defensive teams in Notre Dame history … the Irish led the BIG EAST in digs in conference action (17.70 per game; runner-up West Virginia had 16.76) after never before placing higher than sixth … ND also led the league in overall digging (18.02; best-ever finish was sixth in `04) and currently rank 30th in Division I … that average is the second-best in program history (record is 18.25 in 1992) … ranked second on team in digs, reception percentage, and assists (60/0.54), as well as third in kills (325/2.93), and points (402.5/3.62), and fourth in blocks (80/0.72) … in second collegiate season, increased kill average (from 2.49 in 2004 to 2.93 in ’05), hitting percentage (.168 to .208), serve percentage (.887 to .897), dig average (2.96 to 3.85), and point average (2.38 to 3.62) … in career record book, will head into second half of career ranking third in dig average (3.40) and fifth in service ace average (0.29) … put together an outstanding defensive season, as her dig average ranks as the fifth-highest season average ever and most by an Irish non-libero (and by a player other than Henican) since 1993 … averaged 4.95 digs per game in six matches against nationally-ranked opposition (ND was 5-1) … posted first Notre Dame triple-double since 1998 as a rookie and had 15 double-doubles in 2005 to bring her career total to 24 … finished campaign with double-doubles in six consecutive matches (and in eight of the last nine), which is tied for the second-longest string in Irish history … posted four consecutive double-doubles (vs. Marquette, Valparaiso, St. John’s, and Connecticut) earlier in season … had 10+ kills 18 times and hit the 20-dig mark on five occasions (after not doing that at all in 2004) … led team in digs nine times, aces seven times, kills and points on six occasions each, plus three times in attack percentage and blocks … missed first three matches of season due to an offseason rib injury … returned in first career appearance as Irish libero against #8 USC and responded with career-high 29 digs and 21 receptions without an error in leading ND to upset victory … had 24 digs two days later in helping Notre Dame to a sweep of #6 Florida … posted 24 digs against LSU … has played only at outside hitter since Sept. 27 … had 14 kills on .355 hitting to go with 21 digs (career high when not playing libero) against Marquette … followed that up with 13 kills and 12 digs, plus 24 receptions without an error against Valparaiso … had 16 kills and 10 digs at St. John’s and 10 kills and 11 digs, plus four blocks vs. Connecticut … turned in 12 kills on .579 hitting at DePaul … had 20 kills on .349 hitting to go with 16 digs and four blocks for career-high 22.5 points against Illinois State … notched nine kills on 17 swings (.471) and 13 digs and four blocks vs. South Florida … posted 14 kills on .419 hitting to go with 10 digs and season-high seven blocks (career-high four solo) vs. Georgetown … cranked career-high 21 kills to go with 18 digs in leading Notre Dame to an upset of #6 Louisville … combined with Lauren Brewster to be the first set of Irish teammates to hit 20 kills apiece in a match shorter than five games since Oct. 8, 2000 (Christi Girton-30, Kristy Kreher-22) … converted at 29-28 in game one and ended match with another kill … had 14 digs at West Virginia and 13 at Pittsburgh … registered seven kills on 23 errorless swings (.304) against Villanova, while accounting for 15 digs and five blocks … notched 10 kills and 14 digs vs. Rutgers … had 10 kills, 10 digs, three blocks, and three aces for 14.5 points in BIG EAST quarterfinals vs. Villanova … posted 18 kills and 13 digs in title match at #7 Louisville … had 10 kills on .333 hitting to go with 12 digs against Rice … notched third consecutive double-double vs. Tennessee, with 14 kills and 13 digs, plus three aces, five assists, and three blocks … posted 16 kills, 19 digs, four blocks, seven assists, and two aces for 20.5 points in NCAA first round against Dayton … had 16 kills on .364 hitting to go with 10 digs and four blocks for 19 points in second-round sweep of Northwestern … notched 15 kills and 20 digs to go with two blocks for 17.5 points in NCAA round of 16 against Wisconsin … in four matches (12 games) at libero early in season, averaged 6.25 digs per game (75 total) and had a .976 (3 RE, 130 attempts) reception percentage.