Penn State earns three AVCA All-America honors

Kansas City, Mo. —  The three-time defending national champion Penn State women's volleyball team (31-5) had three players earn AVCA All-American status, the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced Wednesday. Seniors Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.) and Blair Brown(Purcellville, Va.) were both First Team honorees, while freshman Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) was named the 2010 Division I AVCA Freshman of the Year and earned a spot on the Second Team. The AVCA Division I Player of the Year will be announced on Friday (Dec. 17) at the AVCA All-America/Players of the Year Banquet.

The accolades are the third for Brown and Wilson and the first for McClendon. McClendon is the only freshman on the three All-America teams. All but two of the First Team honorees have previously earned AVCA All-America recognition during their careers. A total of 26 athletes, nearly two-thirds of this year's recipients, are first-time AVCA All-America selections.

McClendon's honor as the AVCA Division I Freshman of the Year marks the third time a Nittany Lion has been picked. She joins past PSU honorees Nicole Fawcett (2005) and Megan Hodge (2006).

Penn State's three selections bring the program's total number of All-America selections to 66 since 1979. Head coach Russ Rose has now coached at least one All-American in 31 of his 32 seasons at the helm of the Nittany Lion program.

The AVCA honors First, Second and Third Team All-America selections, with each team consisting of 14 players per squad, along with recognizing Honorable Mention selections. The Nittany Lions are one of four teams with two First Team honorees, as well as one of four programs with three overall picks.

Brown, who became the sixth straight Nittany Lion to be named the Big Ten Player of the Year earlier this season, earned her third straight national award. A three-time All-Big Ten selection, Brown earned Second Team laurels in 2008 and First Team honors in 2009. Brown has started all 35 matches this season and leads the Nittany Lions with 491 kills, averaging 4.20 kills per set on .323 hitting. She is second on the team with 261 digs (2.23 digs per set) and is third on the squad with 107 total blocks (0.91 blocks per set). Her 4.20 kills per set ranks second in the Big Ten and 23rd nationally, while her .323 attack percentage ranks ninth in the league. Also, her 4.85 points per set ranks 22nd in the nation. In 2010, Brown was a Unanimous Preseason All-Big Ten pick and earned conference player of the week laurels three times. She surpassed the 1,000 career kills milestone this season and has 1,265 kills for her career heading into NCAA National Semifinal action.

Wilson earned her third All-America honor after also earning Second Team laurels in 2008 and First Team accolades in 2009. Wilson was a unanimous selection to the All-Big Ten First Team in 2010. So far this season, Wilson leads the team and ranks fifth in the nation with a .425 attack percentage. Her 316 kills (2.70 kills per set) ranks third on the team, while her 135 total blocks (1.15 blocks per set) is a team-best. She recently surpassed the 600 career blocks milestone to become the fifth Penn State player in program history to reach the mark and only the 10th player in Big Ten Conference records. Wilson also surpassed the 1,000 career kills milestone in 2010 and has 1,096 kills heading into the NCAA National Semifinals.

The Big Ten Freshman of the Year and AVCA Mideast Region Freshman of the Year, McClendon is a five-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week honoree. She ranks second on the squad this season with 391 kills and ranks seventh in the conference with a .328 attack percentage. Her 3.37 kills per set ranks second on the team and she also is averaging 1.88 digs per set. A First Team All-Big Ten selection, McClendon has 81.0 total blocks for the season.

Penn State will play for its fourth consecutive national championship when it takes on California in the NCAA Championship match at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday (Dec. 18) t the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. The match will air live on ESPN2.

Live stats will be available at GoPSUsports.com and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2. Fans can listen to the match with Dean DeVore, Craig Dyer and Jay Hosack on WRSC-FM 103.1 in State College and surrounding areas and around the world for free on GoPSUsports.com. Airtime Saturday night is 8:00 p.m. ET. Fans are encouraged to send comments and questions during the broadcast to Dean, Craig and Jay via Twitter by following @PSUVolleyball.

 

 

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Last Updated December 17, 2010