OMAHA, Neb. -- Four Creighton Volleyball players have been awarded All-Region honors by the American Volleyball Coaches Association, it was announced today. Kelli Browning and Michelle Sicner earned First Team All-East Region acclaim, while Leah McNary and Lauren Smith earned honorable-mention accolades.
The four players to earn All-Region attention is one shy of the number of Creighton players to earn All-Region honors from the AVCA from 1994-2012.
A junior middle blocker from Waukesha, Wis., Browning averaged 2.45 kills and a BIG EAST-best 1.53 blocks per set for the Bluejays. She hit .323 on the year and ranks ninth nationally in blocks per set. Browning is a two-time all-conference performer and earns joins Megan Bober (2010, 12) as the second player in Creighton history to earn First-Team All-Region acclaim on multiple occasions.
A junior setter from Omaha, Sicner averaged 10.00 assists, 2.68 digs, 1.47 kills and 0.97 blocks per set while also hitting .300 for Creighton in 2013. Sicner led CU with 16 double-doubles and four triple-doubles during the year, which also saw her earn AVCA National Player of the Week honors on October 15. Sicner was recognized as a Second-Team All-BIG EAST selection this fall.
A junior outside hitter from Tarpon Springs, Fla., McNary led Creighton with 3.04 kills per set while earning First Team All-BIG EAST plaudits in 2013. McNary topped CU with 22 matches of 10 or more kills in 2013.
Smith is a redshirt freshman middle blocker from Lincoln, Neb. Smith was a two-time BIG EAST Freshman of the Week and was named to the All-Tournament Team at three different events. Smith was fourth on the team with 2.24 kills per set and also ranked second with 1.16 blocks per set and third with a .276 hitting percentage. Smith is the first player in CU history to earn All-Region recognition as a freshman.
Xavier's Abbey Bessler was named East Region Freshman of the Year, while American's Barry Goldberg was honored as East Region Coach of the Year after leading the Eagles to their first Sweet 16.
Players and coaches honored by the AVCA in today's announcement will be eligible for a spot on the All-America team, which will be announced next week.
Creighton finished the 2013 season last Saturday with a 23-9 overall record while winning an NCAA Tournament match for the third time in four seasons. The Bluejays are coached by Kirsten Bernthal Booth.
2013 AVCA Division I All-Region Teams and Region Coaches of the Year East Region First Name Last Name School Position Year 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 First Name Last Name School Position Year 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.
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