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Volleyball Presents Awards At Banquet
Posted: Monday, December 15, 2008
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. - The UW-Eau Claire women's volleyball team handed out team awards Sunday night at its annual end of the season banquet.
Senior outside hitter Abby Freiborg (Sacred Heart, Minn./Renville County West) took home the Team's Co-Most Valuable Player as well as the Offensive Most Valuable Player. Capping off a stellar career as a Blugold, Freiborg received several accolades this season. Freiborg led the team in several categories, including kills (2.78 per set), service aces (0.49 per set) and total points (4.12 per set). For her efforts, Freiborg was selected as an All-WIAC First Team member, WIAC Player of the Year, Judy Kruckman Scholar-Athlete, America Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Second Team All-American and (CoSIDA)/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District 5 College Division Third Team. Freiborg also joined an elite group of Blugolds during a match against Northland earlier this season, recording her 1,000th kill, and ended her career with 1,054 kills.
Setter Emily Haese (Sr.-Mishicot, Wis.) was selected as her team's Co-Most Valuable Player. Haese anchored the Blugold offense this season, recording a team-high 9.77 assists per set, good for second in the WIAC. Haese ranked fourth on the team in blocks with 0.34 per set, recording 21 aces and recorded 2.26 digs per set, good for third on the team. Along with Freiborg, Haese was recognized by the AVCA as an All-America Honorable Mention selection and an All-WIAC First Team member. With the All-America selection, Freiborg and Haese join just 14 other Blugolds in program history to receive the honor, and it is the first time since 2006 that Eau Claire was represented on the All-America team.
Selected as Defensive Most Valuable Player was junior libero Lindsey Smith (Maple Lake, Minn.). Smith led the Blugolds with 3.97 digs per game, and ranked sixth in the WIAC in that category. Smith also garnered a receiving percentage of .958 and was second on the team with 56 aces, good for fourth in the conference. For the season, Smith earned All-WIAC Defensive Team honors.
Receiving the team's Blugold Award was Jenna Weber (Sr.-Antigo, Wis.). The Blugold Award is given to the player who exemplifies the dedication, work ethic, teamwork and pride expected in the Blugold volleyball program. Weber was Eau Claire's energetic leader out on the court and made major contributions throughout the season. In a match against Illinois Wesleyan this season, Weber recorded a career-high 13 kills in the win. For the season, Weber registered 216 kills, 60 blocks and 18 aces.
Middle blocker Katie Wall (Fr.-Madison, Wis./La Follette) picked up the team's Most Improved Award. Wall appeared in 14 matches this season, picking up 18 kills to go along with six service aces and four block assists.
The Top Newcomer Award went to outside hitter Emily Zupon (So.-Antigo, Wis.). In her first season with the Blugolds, Zupon appeared in 32 of the 36 matches played and made her presence felt on the floor. Zupon ranked second on the team in kills with 2.33 per set, recorded 99 digs, 36 blocks and had a receiving percentage of .921.
Selected as team captains for the 2009 season were Cassie Hunt (Jr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell), Kristen Moore (Sr.-Green Bay, Wis./Ashwaubenon) and Smith.
The Blugolds had yet another successful season, with an overall record of 24-12 and captured a share of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title with a 7-1 record. Eau Claire received an at-large bid to this year's NCAA Tournament, where they advanced to the second round. Following the tournament, Eau Claire broke back into the AVCA Top 25 poll, ranking 24th in this season's final poll.
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