Dec. 10, 2013
East Lansing, Mich. - - Three Spartans - junior libero Kori Moster (Cincinnati, Ohio), senior middle blocker Alexis Mathews (Detroit, Mich.) and outside hitter Lauren Wicinski (Geneva, Ill.) have earned AVCA All-North Region honors, as announced today. It is the first All-Region honor for Mathews, while Moster earns her second All-Region award and Wicinski her fourth.
"I think that all three are very deserving - just like the All-Big Ten teams, its a very deep, talented field that these players are competing against for awards," said head coach Cathy George. "Kori, in particular, probably gets overlooked the most because of the position she plays - but she, along with Alexis and Lauren, are huge pieces of what we have been able to accomplish. I am just thrilled for all of them that they have been recognized.
"With three players earning these All-Region selections - the most MSU has ever had in a single season - I think it shows that we are building and growing the program," continued George. "That's important to all of us. We play in an elite conference, and are committed to continuing to bring in high-caliber players."
A total of 26 athletes from the Big Ten earned All-Region First Team honors, and five additional earned Honorable Mention All-Region distinction. With the B1G schools split over two regions in 2013 (North and Northeast), the players from the Conference claimed all but two first-team spots in the two regions.
MSU's three selections are a program high for a single season; both Wicinski and Moster are repeat winners from a year ago.
Moster became MSU's all-time dig leader on Nov. 8 against Northwestern, in the 96th match of her career. The junior is the only player in program history to be named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, and she has now done it in back-to-back seasons. Her total dig count entering the NCAA regionals is 1,648, which ranks 15th all-time in the Big Ten and 57th among active players in Division I volleyball. Regularly facing off against the top hitters and players in the nation, Moster leads the Big Ten in digs per set (4.67) and is also fourth in service aces (0.30 per set).
Mathews, the first-time selection, has had a career season in which she has become MSU's career and single-season block assist leader, while also establishing herself among the top hitters in school history. On the year, she is hitting a Big-Ten leading .404 (which ranks 19th in the country) and is 11th nationally and second in the Big Ten in blocks per set. She ranks sixth among active Division I players in career blocks per set (1.32) and is second in total blocks (613).
Wicinski, who is a four-time All-Region pick and three-time All-American, is among the country's leaders in points per set (5.24, 9th), kills per set (4.45, 17th) and service aces (0.42 per set, 22nd). The four-time Big Ten Player of the Week owns 2,408 career terminations, which is 13th all-time in the history of the sport. She leads the country's active players is in career kills (2,408), total attempts (5,616), and aces (274), ranks second in kills/set (4.76), 13th in attempts per game (11.08), sixth in sets played (506) and eighth in matches played (139). She is one of 10 finalists for volleyball's Senior CLASS Award.
The trio lead MSU into the NCAA Round of 16 for the second consecutive season when Michigan State returns to Lexington, Ky. to tangle with Big Ten foe Penn State.
AVCA All-North Region Selections
Jennifer Cross, Michigan, MB, Sr.
Lexie Dannemiller, Michigan, S, Jr.
Tori Dixon, Minnesota, MB, Sr.
Meghan Haggerty, Nebraska, MB, So.
Stephanie Holthus, Northwestern, OH, Sr.
Alexis Mathews, Michigan State , MB , Sr.
Kori Moster, Michigan State , L, Jr.
Adrianna Nora, Minnesota, RS, Jr.
Mary Pollmiller, Nebraska, S, Jr.
Kelsey Robinson, Nebraska, OH, Sr.
Kadie Rolfzen, Nebraska, OH, Fr.
Molly Toon, Michigan, OH, Sr.
Lauren Wicinski, Michigan State , OH, Sr.
Ashley Wittman, Minnesota, MB, Sr.
Freshman the Year:Kadie Rolfzen, Nebraska, OH
Coach the Year: Hugh McCutcheon, Minnesota
Cecilia Hall, Nebraska, MB, So.
Brooke Mattingly, Louisville, MB, GS
Rachel Neuberger, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, MB, Sr.
Caleigh Ryan, Northwestern , S, Fr.
Emily Spencer, IPFW, OH, Jr.
Jessica Whitehead, Southern Illinois , OH, Sr.