Nine BIG EAST Volleyball Players Named to AVCA All-Northeast Region Team

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Nine BIG EAST volleyball players were named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-Northeast Region team as announced by the organization Dec. 7. Notre Dame freshman Andrea McHugh was named Northeast Region Freshman of the Year, while three additional players from BIG EAST schools were honorable mention selections. The nine selections tied the most in conference history, also set in 2009 and 2005. In addition, McHugh is the fourth-straight BIG EAST player to be named Northeast Region Freshman of the Year and sixth in the last seven seasons. McHugh, who also was named BIG EAST Freshman of the Year, earned BIG EAST Freshman of the Week honors five times this season to set a Notre Dame record. She was an All-BIG EAST First Team selection, making her the only rookie on the first team. McHugh ranked second among league players in kills per set (4.08) during conference play. The Yorba Linda, Calif., native also ranked second in the conference with 4.67 points per set and seventh with 0.40 aces per set. McHugh was an honorable mention for the All-Northeast Region team. Cincinnati, the BIG EAST regular-season champions, placed three players on the All-Northeast Region team, tying Marquette for the most in the conference. BIG EAST Player of the Year senior Stephanie Niemer was a unanimous selection, while senior Annie Fesl and sophomore Jordanne Scott were also named to the squad. Niemer, who led the conference in kills per set at 5.08, is a two-time all-region selection. Fesl finished fifth in the country with 12.03 assists per set, while Scott was sixth in the conference in hitting percentage at .333. Marquette junior Ashley Beyer and seniors Rabbecka Gonyo and Nikki Klingsporn each earned selections for the Golden Eagles. The three selections are the most for Marquette, who had not had a player earn a spot on the All-Northeast Region team since Jamie Mueller and Kimberley Todd earned honorable mention selections in 2006. Gonyo led the BIG EAST in hitting percentage at .429, which was second in the country. Beyer ranked second in kills per set at 3.87, and Klingsporn averaged 12.10 assists per set, the fourth-most in the nation. Louisville, which won its third-straight BIG EAST Championship title, placed two players on the All-Northeast Region team. Sophomore Lola Arslanbekova, who was a unanimous selection to the All-BIG EAST First Team, was also a unanimous selection to the All-Northeast Region squad. Arslanbekova earns an all-region nod for the second-straight season after ranking third in the conference in kills per set with 3.86. Junior middle blocker Gwen Rucker also earned a selection, finishing second in the league in blocks per set with 1.23.