Three Lopers Named All-American|
The Nebraska-Kearney volleyball team has placed three players on the 2012 AVCA (American Volleyball Coaches Association) All-American team.
The squad is chosen by a panel of head coaches from around the country. To be eligible for the All-American team, a student-athlete first has to be chosen all-region.
Sophomore libero Liz McGowan (GI Central Catholic) makes the first-team, senior setter Jenna Rouzee (GI Northwest) is on the second-team and senior outside Ariel Krolikowski (Grand Island) is honorable mention for a second straight fall.
McGowan is the seventh Loper to make the AVCA first-team. The first UNK was setter Danielle Shum in 1996 with the other five (Kelli Brummer, Erin Gudmundson, Haley Lake, Nikki Scott and Jeri Walkowiak) all being middle hitters.
Beginning the year as an outside hitter, McGowan moved to libero midway through the season. She led UNK in digs (622) and digs per set (5.02) while also ranking second on the team in service aces (31).
Recording just the sixth 600 dig season in school history, McGowan is on pace to challenge Angie Usherís career dig record of 2,058, set between 1992-95. McGowan currently has 1,112 digs, 20th most in school history.
Running one of the nationís best offenses, Rouzee earns her first All-American honor and joins Shum (1995 and 1996, Bethany Spilde (2004) and Cola Svec (2008 and 2010) as Loper setters to be named to the AVCA squad.
As a senior, she came in at 11.16 assists, 3.03 digs, 1.33 kills and 0.59 blocks per set while leading UNK in solo blocks (24) and serving up 23 aces. Her 2,741 assists are seventh most in Loper lore with her 10.58 aps average fifth best.
Finally, Krolikowski led UNK in kills (444) and kills per set (3.70). Hitting a solid .241, she also provided 2.74 digs and 0.43 blocks per set.
In three years as a Loper, she managed to rack up 1,132 kills and 1,024 digs and is the eighth Loper to earn D2 All-American honors twice in a career.
There were only three other MIAA players chosen AVCA All-American, each being honorable mention selections. They were senior middles Jessica Fey (Washburn), Brady Peniston (Central Missouri) and Megan Sharpe (Truman State).
SW Minnesota State setter Emilee Gutzmer is the National Freshman of the Year with the Player of the Year to be announced late. Log on to www.avca.org for the complete team.
UNK went 35-3 in 2012, advancing to the Central Regional final (Sweet 16) of the NCAA Tournament.