MILWAUKEE, Wis. - Three different schools were represented when the BIG EAST Conference presented its volleyball regular-season awards and named its all-conference selections on Thursday evening at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center in Milwaukee, Wis. Louisville junior Lola Arslanbekova was chosen as the BIG EAST Player of the Year. Villanova senior Kim Maroon was selected for Libero of the Year for the second year in a row. Marquette freshman Chelsea Heier was named Freshman of the Year, while the Golden Eagle's' head coach Bond Shymansky was named Coach of the Year.
This year's BIG EAST Championship will be held Nov. 18-20 at the Al McGuire Center on the campus of Marquette University. 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 4 p.m. ET/3 p.m. CT.
Arslanbekova followed her Preseason Player of the Year selection with the Player of the Year honor. The junior was dominant for the Cardinals as she helped them capture the BIG EAST regular-season title for the first time. A unanimous selection for All-BIG EAST First Team honors, Arslanbekova led the conference in kills per set (4.94) averaging over a kill per set more than her closet competition. The junior ranks third nationally in kills and points per set (5.45). She posted 20-plus kills seven times this season. She was named BIG EAST Player of the Week four times this season.
For the second year in a row Kim Maroon was selected BIG EAST Libero of the Year. Maroon leads the nation in digs per set with 6.92. She had 20 matches with 20-plus digs and three matches with 40-plus. Maroon set a BIG EAST record with 734 digs this year. Her efforts helped the Wildcats secure a trip to the BIG EAST Championship for the second year in a row. All-BIG EAST First Team selection, Maroon was named to the BIG EAST Honor Roll seven times this season.
Heier made an immediate impact as a freshman for Marquette. She led the conference in assists per set (11.81) and ranked seventh nationally. She was named BIG EAST Freshman of the Week five times in 2011 and she helped Marquette to the second highest hitting percentage in the conference (.254). Heier also was an All-BIG EAST Second Team selection.
Shymansky guided the Golden Eagles to a program-best 12 BIG EAST victories and tied for second place in the regular-season standings. From Sept. 3 through Oct. 9, the Golden Eagles won 12 of 13 matches and started 10-0 in conference play. He has totaled 63 victories in less than three full seasons as head coach of the Golden Eagles.
2011 BIG EAST CONFERENCE VOLLEYBALL AWARDS
BIG EAST Player of the Year
Lola Arslanbekova, Louisville, Jr., OH
BIG EAST Libero of the Year
Kim Maroon, Villanova, Sr.
BIG EAST Freshman of the Year
Chelsea Heier, Marquette, S
BIG EAST Coach of the Year
Bond Shymansky, Marquette
2011 All-BIG EAST VOLLEYBALL TEAM
Missy Harpenau, Cincinnati, Sr., OH
Jordanne Scott, Cincinnati, Jr., MB *
Lola Arslanbekova, Louisville, Jr., OH *
Taylor Brauneis, Louisville, So., S
Emily Juhl, Louisville, So., OH
Danielle Carlson, Marquette, Jr., MH
Ciara Jones, Marquette, Sr., OH
Kiesha Leggs, Pittsburgh, Sr., MB
Meghan Matusiak, Seton Hall, Sr., OH
Sam Hinz, Syracuse, Jr., MB
Kim Maroon, Villanova, Sr., L
Maggie Mergen, Villanova, Sr., MB
Caylin Mahoney, Cincinnati, Fr., S
Jordan Kirk, Connecticut, Sr., OH
Ashley Beyer, Marquette, Sr., OH
Chelsea Heier, Marquette, Fr., S
Kristen Dealy, Notre Dame, Sr., OH
Jeni Houser, Notre Dame, Fr.
Darlene Ramdin, St. John's, Sr., OH
Shelbey Manthorpe, Seton Hall, Fr., S
Valerie El Houssine, USF, Fr., OH
Noemie Lefebvre, Syracuse, Sr., OH
Lindsay McCabe, Syracuse, So., MB
Morgan Petkovich, Villanova, Jr., OH
* unanimous selection