Dec. 2, 2005
Notre Dame senior MB Lauren Brewster (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood H.S.) was listed on the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America® Volleyball Second Team in the University Division, it was announced this week by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). She is the third Academic All-American in Irish volleyball history, and the first since 1997. Brewster joined an elite club of fewer than 50 all-time Notre Dame student-athletes from all sports who have been tabbed athletic All-Americans and Academic All-Americans.
Brewster, who carries a 3.37 cumulative grade-point average as a marketing and sociology double major, was one of only 18 volleyball players named Academic All-Americans. Six were selected to the first team, while she was one of seven (due to a tie in the voting) on the second team, and five players were third-team honorees. Just half of the honorees play for teams that earned invitations to the NCAA Championship, which began yesterday. Brewster is one of only five players who are on teams that are currently listed among the CSTV/AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25, along with the duo of Christina Houghtelling and Sarah Pavan from #1 Nebraska (both first-teamers) and Candace Lee and Courtney Thompson from #3 Washington, who earned second-team recognition. Brewster, Pavan, and Thompson are the only student-athletes to be tabbed Academic All-Americans in 2005 after being AVCA athletic All-Americans in ’04. The ’05 AVCA All-America teams will not be released until Dec. 14.
Brewster and Ball State senior OH Sarah Obras are the lone representatives from CoSIDA’s District V. Only three middle blockers/hitters were named Academic All-Americans, none on the first team. Youngstown State’s Abby Ettenhofer was a second-team pick, while Texas A&M’s Christi Hahn – who played Thursday in the Joyce Center in NCAA tournament action – was a third-team honoree.
Brewster is the third CoSIDA Academic All-American in program history. Jessica Fiebelkorn was as second-team selection in 1992 and Jaimie Lee earned second-team accolades in ’97. Neither of them were named to All-America teams, but both earned honorable mention from Volleyball magazine in those same seasons.
Brewster is a three-time BIG EAST Academic All-Star and was tabbed to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District V First Team in ’05. She is one of the most accomplished and decorated players in program history, having been a third-team All-American in 2004 after being tabbed honorable mention as a sophomore. A three-time first-team all-BIG EAST selection (the first player from any school to have that distinction since 1997), Brewster was the Collegiate Volleyball Update National Player of the Week on Sept. 5, as well as the MVP in both the Shamrock Invitational and the UTSA Dome Rally. She was the ’04 BIG EAST tournament MVP, as well as an eight-time BIG EAST Player of the Week (tops in program history) and has led the conference in blocking in both overall and league matches in each of the last three campaigns. Brewster also was the NCAA blocking champ in 2003 and has had the Irish rank among the top five nationally in each of the last four seasons. This year, she is among the BIG EAST leaders in kills, attack percentage, blocks, and points in both overall and conference matches. She currently ranks 12th nationally in blocking (1.59 heading into the week), while the Irish are fifth (3.59). Brewster ranks among the Notre Dame career top 10 in 15 categories, including first in total blocks (718) and block assists (599), second in hitting percentage (.317), and fourth in kills (1,458).
In the illustrious history of Notre Dame athletics, 44 different individuals have been named All-Americans and Academic All-Americans in the same season, with 10 accomplishing the feat twice. There are also a handful of student-athletes who have earned both accolades but in separate seasons. Among the notable ones who have pulled the double honor in the same year 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).
Brewster will try to lead the sixth-seeded Irish (29-3) to the round of 16 of the NCAA Championship for the first time since 1997. Notre Dame will play host to Northwestern (20-11) on Friday at 7 p.m. (EST) in the Joyce Center in second-round competition.