Dec. 14, 2005
Colorado Springs, Colo. -
Three BIG EAST women's volleyball players were named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association NCAA Division I All-American Second Team, it was announced Wednesday, Dec. 14.
By earning such accolades, Notre Dame senior middle blocker Lauren Brewster and Louisville's seniors Jennifer Hoffman (MB) and Lena Ustymenko (OH) marked the first time in conference history three players have earned All-American Second Team status. Prior to 2005, Ann Marie Lucanie of Pittsburgh was the only player in conference history to receive such accolades. No player from the BIG EAST has ever garnered first team honors.
Brewster, an AVCA All-America Third Team award winner in 2004, led Notre Dame (30-4, 13-1 BIG EAST) to its ninth BIG EAST Championship in 11 years and helped the Irish to a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament and a program- and league-best No. 5 national ranking during the regular season. She hit .310 for the season with a team-leading 3.84 kills per game. She averaged 1.63 blocks per game in leading ND to the College Station, Texas Regional Semifinal.
Hoffman played an instrumental part in leading Louisville (31-3, 13-1 BIG EAST) to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the second consecutive season. Her .445 attack percentage led the nation, and she was an integral part of a Cardinals blocking scheme that was fifth in the country with a 3.58 per game. Individually, she had 1.63 blocks per game, which was eighth in the country.
Ustymenko, the 2005 BIG EAST Player of the Year, was the focal point of a Louisville offense that posted a .317 attack percentage, which was fifth in the country. Her 5.30 kills per game was eighth-best in the nation as the Cardinals posted 16.68 as a team - good for 12th in the country.
For the third consecutive season, six other BIG EAST players garnered AVCA Honorable Mention All-American honors: Kelly Duan (Syracuse, RS/Opp., Sr.), Lauren Kelbley (Notre Dame, OH, Sr.), Megan McGrane (Pittsburgh, DS/Lib., Sr.), Jessie Nevitt (Cincinnati, MB, Fr.), Adrianna Stasiuk (Notre Dame, OH, So.) and Ana Yartseva (Louisville, MB, Jr.).
Nevitt, the 2005 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, was one of only five freshman players to earn All-American consideration, and was one of four to earn honorable mention status.
Notre Dame and Louisville were instrumental in making the 2005 BIG EAST women's volleyball season one to remember. The two schools broke school and conference records by being ranked among the national top 10 consistently throughout the season. They also led the BIG EAST to becoming the only conference in 2005 to have six teams with at least 20 wins (Cincinnati, St. John's, Syracuse and Villanova were the others.).
Those six teams, and others from the nation's largest NCAA Division I women's volleyball conference, hope to continue to bring in more national recognition in 2006.
The BIG EAST is the largest and most diverse Division I conference in the country. It was formed in 1979 and represents the athletic interests of 16 member institutions including the University of Cincinnati, University of Connecticut, DePaul University, Georgetown University, University of Louisville, Marquette University, University of Notre Dame, University of Pittsburgh, Providence College, Rutgers University, St. John's University, Seton Hall University, University of South Florida, Syracuse University, Villanova University and West Virginia University. The BIG EAST Conference has captured 25 national championships in six different sports and is a founding member of the Bowl Championship Series. For more information on the Conference and its membership, please visit www.bigeast.org.