Dec. 10, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The American Volleyball Coaches Association announced Wednesday that Notre Dame junior Christina Kaelin and sophomore Kellie Sciacca were part of its all-region team. Kaelin was one of 14 players to earn All-Northeast Region recognition with Sciacca garnering honorable mention nods.
Notre Dame (2) was one of three BIG EAST Conference programs to have multiple players honored by the AVCA, joining St. John’s (3) and Louisville (3). Connecticut setter Annie Luhrsen was named the region’s top freshman, an honor that Sciacca stalked in 2007.
Both Kaelin and Sciacca found spots on the all-BIG EAST second team earlier this season.
In her first complete season since recovering from a shoulder injury that sidelined her for the duration of the 2007 slate, Kaelin was fifth in the BIG EAST with 3.57 kills/set. She posted a .295 hitting percentage in conference play and led the Irish with 193 total kills. She recorded double-digit kills in 13 of Notre Dame’s 14 league matches, highlighted by 21 converted attacks against Pittsburgh (Oct. 12). It was behind the strong swinging of her right arm that Notre Dame finished the regular season ranked fourth in the league in overall hitting percentage (.261). She recorded her third 20+ kill performances of the season with 21 knocks against top-seeded St. John’s in the second round of the BIG EAST Championship. Kaelin, who had just seven kills on a .048 clip in the tournament-opening match against Connecticut one day prior, also bruised St. John’s with a .474 average. The output tied her for ninth on Notre Dame’s all-time 20+ kills list, as her total of seven evens her with Irish volunteer assistant coach Emily Loomis.
Sciacca led the Irish with a .332 overall hitting percentage and posted 2.43 kills/set with 0.89 blocks/set. In fact, her career average of .337 currently ranks second all-time in school history. Sciacca was second overall in league hitting percentage with a .376 average. She totaled 137 kills in league play and 0.80 blocks/set. Sciacca opened the BIG EAST regular season with 20 kills on a .683 average in a four-set match at USF (Sept. 26), and later tagged Syracuse for 19 kills on a .577 average during a Nov. 1 matchup. She stuffed 10 shots against Nevada (Aug. 30) en route to recording the first double-double of her young career. She was the BIG EAST player of the week on Sept. 29 after appearing on its honor roll on Sept. 1. Sciacca also earned all-tournament nods at the Shamrock Invitational and Minnesota’s Diet Coke Classic.
AVCA All-Northeast Region Whitney Behrens - Saint LouisLindsay Fletemeir - DaytonBridget Fonke - Saint LouisMarcela Gurgel - USFChristina Kaelin - Notre DameValeria Kovaleva - St. John'sJustine Landi - LouisvilleWioleta Leszczynska - St. John'sJana Matiasovska - LouisvilleSammi McCloud - Saint LouisJessie Nevitt - CincinnatiRubena Sukaj - AmericanWhitney Roth - Saint LouisLena Yee - St. John's
Region Freshman of the YearAnnie Luhrsen - Connecticut
Honorable MentionBethany Akerhielm - DaytonLecia Brown - LouisvilleJamie Clark - ArmyCat Dailey - YaleMichelle Rossi - PittsburghKellie Sciacca - Notre DameSally Warning - Saint LouisYun Yi Zhang - Temple