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Monday, March 22, 2010Collegiate Volleyball Update (CVU) has named Lipscomb middle hitter Alex Kelly and setter Stefine “Jake” Pease to the 2009 “Stellar Spikers” Team.
Kelly was named to the first team. Pease was a second team selection. Both are juniors.
Including the honorable mention picks only 96 players were honored. There were 14 members of both the first and second teams. Players were selected based on several criteria including their statistical rankings in the NCAA as well as the impact each player had on her team and how many conference awards they received.
Kelly was ranked 12th in the NCAA nationally in points per set (5.07), 21st in kills per set and 38th in hitting percentage (.355). She was named Atlantic Sun Player of the Year for the second year in a row. She was also named to the Atlantic Sun Conference All-Tournament Team.
Some of the players on the first team with Kelly were California outside hitter Hana Cutera, Penn State outside hitter Megan Hodge, Texas outside hitter Destinee Hooker, UCLA middle blocker Amanda Gill, Penn State middle hitter Arielle Wilson and Penn State setter Alisha Glass.
“When you take a look at the list of the girls that were there the first thing that jumps off the list was Hana Cutera who we played in the first round of the NCAA Tournament,” Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “I think it is a great honor for both Alex and Jake.
“It says a lot about what we are doing. The girls on this list are the elite players in the country. What is neat about it is that this site is recognizing teams that are not your traditional powerhouses. They are taking a look at what the girls have done in their respective conferences."
Pease was ranked 10th nationally in assists per set with 11.8. She was named to the Atlantic Sun All-Conference First Team. She also was named Atlantic Sun Tournament MVP for the second time in three years.
The Lady Bisons were undefeated in the Atlantic Sun Conference and won the conference tournament for the second time in the past three years.
“I’ve always said that I think Jake and Alex are two of the top players in the country. They really deserve all of the awards that they get right now.
“You look at the list and there is California, Illinois, Minnesota, Texas, Oregon, Penn State and Iowa. We are by far the smallest school. I’m glad Alex and Jake are on our team.”
National honors for individual players also help Rosenthal with his recruiting efforts.
“When we won the A-Sun in 2007 we really didn’t have to explain who we were,” Rosenthal said. “But now there is level of respect. For three years in row we have played for our conference championship.
“As I watched all of these basketball tournaments I have a hard time comprehending what we did. To finish 22-0 in the conference was pretty tough. The 25-match win streak was pretty remarkable. I’m starting to appreciate it a little bit more.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations