December 11, 2013

AVCA Announces 2013 Division I All-Region Awards

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Just two weeks after earning All-BIG EAST Conference honors the trio of Erica Stahl, Morgan Peterson, and Belle Obert continued to be recognized for their outstanding efforts as all three players were named All-East Region by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA).

Stahl was an outright East Region selection while Peterson and Obert were each honorable mention picks. The BIG EAST placed six players on the East Region Team and four players on the honorable mention list. The Freshman of the Year award in the East Region was also awarded to a BIG EAST player as Abbey Bessler of Xavier took that honor.

Stahl lived up to the hype in 2013 as the Preseason All-BIG EAST selection was chosen as a First Team pick at the end of the season due to her high level of play. The junior was a force at the net, leading the team in blocks with 158. Stahl was a key component of the Butler defense that was nationally ranked in the top ten in blocks per set. The team ranks sixth in the nation as of Dec. 8 with Stahl coming in at 16th individually with a blocks per set average of 1.40.

The middle blocker also provided Butler with a lift on the offensive end as Stahl finished the season with 214 kills and a team-high .307 attack percentage. She rounded out the season with 32 digs, and 15 assists.

The Indianapolis native earned BIG EAST Player of the Week honors on Oct. 28 by recording two double-double performances in wins over Seton Hall and St. John's. For the week, Stahl recorded 22 kills and 22 blocks while hitting .381.

Season-high totals for Stahl in 2013 included a .727 attack percentage vs. DePaul (Nov. 2) 13 kills vs. Creighton (Oct. 4) and reaching 11 blocks three different times (at Seton Hall Oct. 25, at St. John's Oct. 26, at Marquette Nov. 23).

Only 14 players were named to the East Region Team with six student-athletes making the honorable mention team. Butler was well represented with two players earning honorable mention spots.

Peterson was a focal point of the Butler offense during her senior season. The multi-talented setter posted an impressive stat line with 1,110 assists, 293 digs, 150 kills, 83 blocks, and 20 service aces to record 214.5 points.

The team leader in double-doubles, Peterson accomplished the task 12 times, including in the BIG EAST Tournament matchup vs. Marquette on Nov. 29 when she posted 43 assists and 15 digs. Arguably her best performance of the year also came against the Golden Eagles as Peterson went for 43 assists and 22 digs at Marquette just days earlier on Nov. 23.

Peterson's season-high assist total also ended up as a double-double performance as she recorded 56 assists and 18 digs vs. IUPUI on Sept. 3. Her first double-double of the year was against Morehead State on Aug. 30 with 40 assists and 10 digs.

BIG EAST peers rewarded Peterson for her efforts on Oct. 7 when the senior setter earned BIG EAST Player of the Week honors after helping BUG record three wins over conference opponents by recording 95 assists, 21 kills, 13 digs and six blocks over the course of the weekend.

An impact player from the start of the season, Peterson was honored as an All-Tournament Team selection at the Cincinnati Invitational, and again at the Butler Classic where she took MVP honors. She ended the season ranked sixth in the conference and 116th nationally with an assist per set average of 10.00.

Peterson was able to end her Butler career on a high note, but Head Coach Sharon Clark will welcome the return of Stahl and junior outside hitter Belle Obert who was also recognized as an honorable mention all-region player.

Butler's team leader in points ended the season with a team-high 390 kills, 231 digs, 122 blocks and 24 service aces. She took more swings (1,109) than any other Bulldog and still hit at a .274 clip.

The outside hitter recorded six double-double matches during her junior season with the first coming at Cincinnati with 10 kills and 10 digs (Aug. 30). She exploded for 20 kills and 17 digs vs. IUPUI (Sept. 3) and also posted huge numbers with 10 kills and 21 digs at Xavier (Oct. 11).

Obert's season-high attack percentage came against BIG EAST foe St. John's (Oct. 5) when she hit .692 against the Red Storm with nine kills off 13 attempts with no errors. Additional season-high stats include eight blocks at Xavier (Oct. 11) and four service aces against both Xavier (Sept. 27) and DePaul (Nov. 2).

The standout California native made the all-tournament team in all four tournament weekends for Butler. She took MVP honors opening weekend at Cincinnati and was also recognized the following weekend at the Arizona Classic. Obert's high level of play continued as she earned all-tournament team honors in the Butler Invite and the Butler Classic.

East Region
Abbey Bessler - Xavier University, OH/Fr.
Kelli Browning** - Creighton University, MB/Jr.
Romana Kriskova – VCU, OH/So.
Kristyna Lindovska - American University, OH/Jr.
Ashley  Neff*** - Florida State University, MB/Sr.
Michelle Sicner - Creighton University, S/Jr.
Mo Simmons - Clemson University, OH/Sr.
Natalia  Skiba - Northeastern University, L/Jr.
Alex Smith - Xavier University, MB/Sr.
Aubree Smith - Xavier University, S/Jr.
Erica Stahl - Butler University, MB/Jr.
Vendula Strakova - Hampton University, RS/Jr.
Elise Walch - Florida State University, RS/Sr.
Nicole Walch - Florida State University, OH/So.

Freshman of the Year
Abbey Bessler - Xavier, OH

Coach of the Year 
Barry Goldberg, American

Honorable Mention
Leah McNary - Creighton University, OH/Jr.
Morgan Peterson - Butler University, S/Sr.
Silvi Uattara - Syracuse University, OH/So.
Lauren Smith - Creighton University, MB/Fr.
Kendall Polan - Yale University, S/Sr.
Belle Obert - Butler University, OH/Jr.