Dec. 18, 2013
East Lansing, Mich. - Three Michigan State volleyball players have earned All-America honors, as announced by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) at its annual convention in Seattle, Wash. on Wednesday. Seniors Lauren Wicinski (Geneva, Ill.) and Alexis Mathews (Detroit, Mich.) and junior Kori Moster (Cincinnati, Ohio) were all honored for their standout 2013 seasons.
Wicinski earns the fourth distinction in her collegiate career, earning Second-Team honors for the second straight season (she was a third-team pick in 2011, and Honorable Mention as a freshman in 2010). Moster, who was a Honorable Mention pick as a sophomore, was named to the Third Team; Mathews earns the first All-America honor of her career with a Honorable Mention selection. The three selections is a school record for Michigan State, which had two selections in both 1995 (Dana Cooke and Val Sterk) and 2012 (Wicinski and Moster).
"This really is a very, very special announcement not only for our players, but also our program," said ninth-year head coach Cathy George. "These players have helped our program take a next step into national prominence over the last few years. Having three players recognized among the nation's best is helping us to take this program where we want it to go. They have all had tremendous seasons and were instrumental in helping us return to the Sweet 16 this year. I am incredibly proud of them for all that they have achieved."
MSU's three selections also comes in a banner year for the Big Ten conference, which sent eight teams to the NCAA Tournament and a NCAA-Tournament record seven teams into the Sweet 16. A total of 13 athletes from the Big Ten are on the AVCA First, Second, or Third-Teams; an additional 13 appeared on the Honorable Mention list.
Wicinski capped a remarkable career in which she finished 13th all-time in the history of Division I volleyball with 2,424 career kills. She was a unanimous All-Big Ten selection, an Academic All-Big Ten pick, and a Senior CLASS Award finalist, while earning two in-season Tournament MVP honors. She was a four-time Big Ten Player of the Week selection in 2013, earning AVCA National Player of the Week honors on Oct. 1. On the season, she averaged 5.20 points and 4.44 kills per set (ninth and 19th nationally, respectively). Wicinski ranks first among active players in career kills (2,424), total attempts (5,669), and aces (274); she's second in kills/set (4.75), 13th in attempts per game (11.12), fifth in sets played (510) and seventh in matches played (140).
For the 2013 season, Wicinski's 555 kills is the sixth-most in a single season in school history, while her 1413 attempts is the fourth-highest total and most since Jenna Wrobel's 1417 in 1998. Her 11.30 attempts per set is eighth all-time in the MSU single-season annals. In her four years, she ranks sixth in matches played (140) and tied for fourth in sets played (510); she also compiled 51 career double-doubles, a feat which she accomplished in her final two collegiate matches at Kentucky and against Penn State.
Moster has captured the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors in back-to-back seasons, the first Spartan player to ever win the award. The two-time All-Big Ten Honorable Mention selection leads the Big Ten in digs per set (4.70); her 1,668 career digs (an MSU school record) is 54th among active players and 14th all-time in the Big Ten. She also ranked fourth in the Big Ten in service aces (0.29 per set). On the season, her 592 digs is third all-time in a single season at MSU (her 602 as a sophomore ranks second), and her 4.7 digs per set is third in the MSU single-season annals as well. Her 29 digs against Michigan on Nov. 27 (which tied her career high) is the second-most in a four-set match in school history. Moster is not only a standout on the court, but in the classroom as well; she was an Academic All-Big Ten pick and an Academic All-America nominee. The two-year Spartan captain returns for her senior season with an opportunity to add to her resume as one of the best defensive players in Big Ten history.
Mathews put together a career-best season, setting MSU single-season mark in block assists (172) and posting the second-highest total block number (184) in school history. She averaged 1.47 blocks per set (good for 11th nationally, and sixth at MSU in the single-season record book) and her .395 hitting percentage is third in the Big Ten and 27th among Division I players, while ranking fourth all-time at MSU. In her career, Mathews appeared in 135 career matches (good for sixth all-time at MSU, posting an MSU-record 562 career block assists and 624 total blocks; her total blocks ranks 12th all-time in the Big Ten and ninth among Big Ten block assist leaders. Her career .343 hitting percentage is second-all-time at MSU behind two-time First Team All-American Val Sterk.
Wicinski and Moster will receive their All-America awards on Friday, Dec. 20 in Seattle, Wash. at the AVCA Convention, in conjunction with the NCAA Final Four. Both Wicinski and Mathews will see their jerseys raised to the rafters in Jenison Field House during the 2014 season, as dictated by program tradition of honoring All-Americans at the conclusion of their collegiate careers; Moster will receive the same honor in 2015.