Anne Kordes Interview
Holly Strauss-O'Brien Interview
Lola Arslanbekova Interview
Erin Fairs Interview
MILWAUKEE, Wis. - Louisville claimed two postseason awards as four schools were represented during the presentation of the BIG EAST Conference volleyball postseason awards and all-conference selections on Thursday evening at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center.
Louisville senior Lola Arslanbekova was named BIG EAST Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. Seton Hall junior Alyssa Warren earned Libero of the Year honors. USF freshman Erin Fairs was named Freshman of the Year and head coach Anne Kordes of Louisville and head coach Holly Strauss-O'Brien of Connecticut were named Coaches of the Year.
The 2012 BIG EAST Championship will be held Nov. 16-18 at the Al McGuire Center on the campus of Marquette University for the second straight seasons. All quarterfinal and semifinal matches will be streamed live for free on www.bigeast.tv. The championship match will be exclusively broadcast live on ESPNU on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT.
Arslanbekova followed up her Preseason Player of the Year selection with the Player of the Year honor for the second year in a row and became the first player since Jaimie Lee of Notre Dame (1996 and 1997) to earn the award twice. Only Arslanbekova, Lee and Ann Marie Lucanie of Pittsburgh have won the award more than once. The senior from Uzbekistan was a key contributor to Louisville's success as the Cardinals won their second consecutive BIG EAST regular-season title. Arslanbekova, a unanimous All-BIG EAST First Team selection, led the conference and ranked third nationally with 4.99 kills per set. She also led the league and ranked fifth nationally in points with 5.39 per set. She was named BIG EAST Player of the Week five times and posted 14 matches with 20 or more kills. She is the only active Division I player with more than 2,000 kills and 1,000 digs for her career and became the all-time kills leader in program history on Oct. 7.
Warren led the conference and ranked ninth in the nation with 5.88 digs per set. She recorded double-digit digs in all 15 BIG EAST matches this season to set a conference record. The junior also posted 16 20-dig matches and had seven matches with at least 30 digs. She recorded double-digit digs in 27 of the team's 28 matches this year and totaled a league-high 659 digs for the season. Warren's performance throughout the 2012 season earned her All-BIG EAST Second Team honors.
Fairs had a stellar freshman season as she helped lead USF back to the BIG EAST Championship for the first time since 2010. Her performance also contributed to the Bulls' 16 regular-season wins, their most since 2009. The freshman outside hitter averaged a team-high 2.71 kills per set and was third on the team with 2.66 digs per set. She was named BIG EAST Freshman of the Week on Oct. 15 and was named to the weekly honor roll twice (Oct. 1 and Oct. 22). Fairs earned All-BIG EAST Second Team honors.
Kordes guided the Cardinals to their second straight BIG EAST regular-season crown with a league-best 14-1 mark and 25-3 overall record. Louisville was ranked in the top 25 in the AVCA Coaches Poll 11 times in 12 weeks polls and enters the BIG EAST Championship ranked No. 10. The Cardinals are also No. 5 in the RPI rankings.
Strauss-O'Brien led the Huskies back to the BIG EAST Championship for the first time since 2009. Connecticut started the season 3-4 in league play but won seven of its last eight to earn the fourth seed. Connecticut was picked to finish 10th in the BIG EAST preseason poll.
2012 BIG EAST CONFERENCE VOLLEYBALL AWARDS
BIG EAST Player of the Year
Lola Arslanbekova, Louisville, Sr., OH
BIG EAST Libero of the Year
Alyssa Warren, Seton Hall, Jr.
BIG EAST Freshman of the Year
Erin Fairs, USF, OH
BIG EAST Coaches of the Year
Anne Kordes, Louisville
Holly Strauss-O'Brien, Connecticut
2012 All-BIG EAST VOLLEYBALL TEAM
Toni Alugbue, Notre Dame, So., MB
Lola Arslanbekova, Louisville, Sr., OH *
Danielle Carlson, Marquette, Sr., MH
Jeni Houser, Notre Dame, So., RS
Elizabeth Koberstein, Marquette, Jr., S
Shelbey Manthorpe, Seton Hall, So., S
Holly Mertens, Marquette, Sr., RS *
Karin Palgutova, St. John's, Fr., OH
Mattison Quayle, Connecticut, Sr., OH
Gwen Rucker, Louisville, Sr., MH
Jordanne Scott, Cincinnati, Sr., MB/RS *
Kayla Walton, USF, Jr., RS
* - unanimous selection
Maggie Brindock, Notre Dame, Jr., S
Erin Fairs, USF, Fr., OH
Emily Hayden, Cincinnati, Sr., MB/RS
Emily MacIntyre, Cincinnati, Jr., DS
Stacey Manthorpe, Seton Hall, So., OH/OPP
Brooke Mattingly, Louisville, Jr., MB
Becca Refenes, Cincinnati, Sr., MB
Silvi Uattara, Syracuse, Fr., OH
Alyssa Warren, Seton Hall, Jr., L
Caitlin Welch, Louisville, Jr., DS
Dani White, Georgetown, So., MB
Monica Wignot, Pittsburgh, Jr., OH
Vesela Zapryanova, DePaul, Jr., OH
(extra player because of tie-breaker)