2008 AVCA Division II All-America Teams
Concordia University-St. Paul setter Maggie McNamara and California State University, San Bernardino right side/opposite Jessica Granados are the only repeat First-Team selections from a year ago, with McNamara also nabbing Second-Team honors in 2006. Katie Gangelhoff of the University of Minnesota Duluth and Monica Miesner of Washburn University join McNamara as the only athletes to earn AVCA All-America honors three times - Gangelhoff was a Second-Team recipient in 2007 and a Third-Team honoree in 2006; Miesner earned Second-Team laurels in 2005 and 2007.
The 2008 All-America selections were made by the AVCA Division II All-America Committee: Laurie Lokash, Slippery Rock University, chairperson; Mario Andaya, Central Washington University; Christy Benner, Wheeling Jesuit University; Jim Boos, University of Minnesota Duluth; Todd Caughlin, St. Mary's University; Shelton Collier, Wingate University; Sandy Hoffman, Bentley College; Deanne Scanlon, Grand Valley State University; and Jill Stephens, Florida Southern College.
2008 AVCA DIVISION II FIRST-TEAM ALL-AMERICA
Player Institution Pos. Yr. Ht. Hometown
Danielle Alexander & Grand Valley State University MB Sr. 5-11 Newport, Michigan
Angie Alvord Western Washington University MB Sr. 6-0 Laurel, Washington
Katie Gangelhoff %^ University of Minnesota Duluth S Sr. 5-8 South St. Paul, Minnesota
Jessica Granados * California State Univ., San Bernardino RS/Opp. Sr. 6-1 Beaumont, California
Sara Hoffman & California State Univ., San Bernardino S Jr. 5-6 San Clemente, California
Linda Igbinigie Pittsburg State University MB Sr. 6-4 Richardson, Texas
Ting Liu Emporia State University S So. 6-1 Beijing, China
Maggie McNamara *^ Concordia University-St. Paul S Jr. 5-9 Zumbrota, Minnesota
Monica Miesner %! Washburn University OH Sr. 5-11 Florissant, Missouri
Rhe-Ann Niles University of New Haven MB Sr. 5-11 St. Thomas, Barbados
Emily Palkert Concordia University-St. Paul MB So. 5-11 Excelsior, Minnesota
Laura Prinsen West Texas A&M University RS/Opp. Jr. 5-9 Spring, Texas
Melissa Vanderhall University of Tampa OH So. 5-9 Hempstead, New York
Jeri Walkowiak University of Nebraska-Kearney MB So. 5-11 Grand Island, Nebraska
2008 AVCA DIVISION II SECOND-TEAM ALL-AMERICA
Player Institution Pos. Yr. Ht. Hometown
Ludmila Amaral California University of Pennsylvania MB Jr. 6-0 Sao Paulo, Brazil
Jamie Ashmore Grand Valley State University S Sr. 5-9 LaPorte, Indiana
Rhea Cardwell University of Alaska-Anchorage OH Sr. 5-10 Prineville, Oregon
Allie Cherven % Truman State University MB Sr. 6-1 St. Charles, Missouri
Natalie Forbes Northern Kentucky University S Sr. 5-9 Fort Thomas, Kentucky
Whitney Meierotto Concordia University-St. Paul OH Sr. 5-8 Washburn, Wisconsin
Camilla Pagnan Barry University OH Sr. 5-10 Morra da Fumaca, Brazil
Valia Petrova Nova Southeastern University S Sr. 5-10 Sofia, Bulgaria
Luciana Rapach & The University of West Florida RS/Opp. Sr. 5-9 Porto Alegre, Brazil
Whitney Sanders University of North Alabama MB Sr. 6-1 Haleyville, Alabama
Mary Slinger Concordia University-St. Paul DS/Lib. Jr. 5-8 Faribault, Minnesota
Maria Steinhagen & Concordia University-St. Paul MB Sr. 5-10 Alexandria, Minnesota
Vanessa Williams Cal Poly Pomona MB Sr. 6-1 Riverside, California
Sarah Wyffels University of Minnesota Duluth MB Jr. 5-10 Marshall, Minnesota
2008 AVCA DIVISION II THIRD-TEAM ALL-AMERICA
Player Institution Pos. Yr. Ht. Hometown
Rebecca Bailey University of California, San Diego OH Sr. 5-9 Escondido, California
Gabriela Bulawcyzk California State Univ., Los Angeles OH Jr. 6-1 Sulechow, Poland
Pamela Cartagena % Pittsburg State University OH Jr. 5-7 Bayamon, Puerto Rico
Renata da Silva & California University of Pennsylvania S Jr. 5-8 Sao Paulo, Brazil
Danielle Higginbotham Florida Southern College MB Sr. 6-1 Tallahassee, Florida
Jessica Howe Regis University OH So. 6-0 Pueblo, Colorado
Kasey Loeslie Southwest Minnesota State Univ. MB Sr. 6-1 Tracy, Minnesota
Eli Medina Truman State University OH Sr. 5-8 Kansas City, Missouri
Ashley Nachreiner & Minnesota State University, Mankato OH Sr. 5-11 Round Rock, Texas
Michelle Nogueras Saint Leo University S Jr. 5-8 Cayey, Puerto Rico
Melissa Powers Catawba College MB Sr. 5-10 Bennett, North Carolina
Arica Shepard Emporia State University OH Jr. 5-9 Rossville, Kansas
Andrea Tuck Adams State College OH Jr. 6-0 Erie, Colorado
Sammie Williams Pittsburg State University RS/Opp. Sr. 6-1 Blue Springs, Missouri
* indicates 2007 AVCA First-Team All-America selection
% indicates 2007 AVCA Second-Team All-America selection
& indicates 2007 AVCA Third-Team All-America selection
$ indicates 2006 AVCA First-Team All-America selection
^ indicates 2006 AVCA Second-Team All-America selection
@ indicates 2006 AVCA Third-Team All-America selection
! indicates 2005 AVCA Second-Team All-America selection
2008 AVCA Division II Freshman of the Year: Maja Potpara, Dowling College, S
2008 AVCA Division II Player of the Year: announced December 3, 2008 at the NCAA Division II Championships' banquet
2008 AVCA Division II Honorable Mention All-America
Stacey Bennet (Western Oregon, OH, Sr.)
Stacey Borgia (Lock Haven, MB, Sr.)
Erica Brick (Chico State, S, Sr.)
Emily Carle (Nova Southeastern, MB, Sr.)
Molly Cindric (Merrimack, RS/Opp., So.)
Charisse Cotton (New Haven, OH, Sr.)
Devin Deidrich (Southwest Minnesota State, MB, Fr.)
Cammy Dranginis (Northwest Nazarene, MB, Jr.)
Danielle Durham (Florida Southern, OH, Sr.)
Stormi Gale (Wingate, MB, So.)
Madeline Gonzalez (West Florida, S, Sr.)
Sarha Gosselin (Wayne State [Mich.], OH, Jr.)
Allison Gotz (Western Washington, DS/Lib., So.)
April Hansen (Minnesota Duluth, RS/Opp., R-Fr.)
Jessica Hansen (North Alabama, DS/Lib., Sr.)
Melissa Harper (West Texas A&M, MB, Jr.)
Meghan Haas (Cal State San Bernardino, DS/Lib., Sr.)
Allie Huffman (Central Missouri, OH, Fr.)
Jen Jung (Michigan Tech, MB, Sr.)
Melissa Keck (Truman, RS/Opp., Sr.)
Sadie Kessler (Concordia-St. Paul, RS/Opp., Jr.)
Kim Kvapil (Incarnate Word, OH, Sr.)
Camila Lins (Lynn, OH, Sr.)
Danielle McDonald (Tampa, MB, Sr.)
Kaitlin McKenna (Saint Leo, MB, So.)
Josimara Pinheiro (Hawai'i-Hilo, OH, Jr.)
Maja Potpara (Dowling, S, Fr.)
Sarah Redoute (Saginaw Valley State, OH, Sr.)
Sara Rice (Cal State San Bernardino, MB, Sr.)
Katie Rickwartz (West Texas A&M, S, Jr.)
Beth Robbins (Indianapolis, S, Sr.)
Daris Rodriguez (Lynn, MB, Sr.)
Yael Rosner (New Haven, S, Sr.)
Kristi Sather (Sonoma State, OH, Sr.)
Nikki Scott (Nebraska-Kearney, MB, Jr,)
Fabiane Seben (Hawai'i-Hilo, MB, Jr.)
Hannah Segebart (Armstrong Atlantic, S, So.)
Cola Svec (Nebraska-Kearney, S, So.)
Kyleigh Turner (Indianapolis, DS/Lib., Jr.)
Brandie Vea (Central Washington, DS/Lib., So.)
Ursula Vieira (Cal State L.A., RS/Opp., Sr.)
Kelsey Wesaw (Northern Kentucky, RS/Opp., Sr.)
AVCA All-America First Team
Danielle Alexander, a 5-11 middle blocker for Grand Valley State University, is a senior from Newport, Mich. Alexander, who earned GLIAC Player of the Year honors this season, led the Lakers to their second-consecutive GLIAC title and into the NCAA Quarterfinals this weekend. Alexander is now a two-time AVCA All-American, having earned Third-Team honors in 2007.
Angie Alvord, a 6-0 middle blocker for Western Washington University, is a senior from Laurel, Wash. Named GNAC Player of the Year and a unanimous GNAC First-Team All-Star, Alvord led the Vikings to a second-place conference finish and a 21-3 overall record. Ranked second in the GNAC in hitting percentage and points per game, Alvord is a first-time AVCA All-American selection.
Katie Gangelhoff, a 5-8 setter for the University of Minnesota Duluth, is a senior from South St. Paul, Minn. Gangelhoff, the career assists leader for the Bulldogs, guided her team to the finals of the NCAA Division II Central Region Tournament. A four-time All-NSIC selection, Gangelhoff has now earned her third AVCA-All-America award, having earned First-Team honors last year and Second-Team honors in 2006.
Jessica Granados, a 6-1 right-side/opposite for California State University, San Bernardino, is a senior from Beaumont, Calif. The 2008 CCAA MVP and All-CCAA First-Team selection for the second time is ranked ninth nationally in kills per set. Granados is receiving her second-consecutive AVCA First-Team All-America award.
Sara Hoffman, a 5-6 setter for California State University, San Bernardino, is a junior from San Clemente, Calif. The All-CCAA First-Team honoree was ranked in the top-10 nationally in assists per set and led the Coyotes to a .285 hitting percentage. Hoffman is a two-time AVCA All-American, having earned Third-Team honors last year.
Linda Igbinigie, a 6-4 middle blocker for Pittsburg State University, is a senior from Richardson, Texas. Named to the All-MIAA team, Igbinigie led her squad to a 28-8 overall record, a fifth-place conference finish and into the NCAA Division II Tournament. This marks Igbinigie's first AVCA First-Team All-America selection.
Ting Liu, a 6-1 setter for Emporia State University, is a sophomore from Beijing, China. Ranked second in the nation in assists per set, Liu guided the Hornets to a first place finish in the MIAA and into the NCAA Tournament. For her efforts, she was named the MIAA MVP, was a unanimous All-MIAA First-Team selection, and is now awarded her first AVCA First-Team All-America honor.
Maggie McNamara, a 5-9 setter for Concordia University-St. Paul, is a junior from Zumbrota, Minn. McNamara, who is ranked No. 1 in the nation with 13.41 assists per set, helped lead her team into the NCAA Tournament Round of Eight this weekend. The NSIC Offensive Player of the Year and NSIC All-Conference Team selection is a three-time AVCA All-American, as she is receiving her second-consecutive AVCA First-Team All-America nod, while also making the AVCA Second-Team in 2006.
Monica Miesner, a 5-11 outside hitter for Washburn University, is a senior from Florissant, Mo. A three-time recipient of All-MIAA First-Team honors, Miesner helped the Lady Blues earn a spot in the NCAA South Central Region quarterfinals. A conference leader in kills, points and aces per set, Miesner is a three-time AVCA All-American, having also earned First-Team honors in 2007 and Second-Team honors in 2005.
Rhe-Ann Niles, a 5-11 middle blocker for the University of New Haven, is a senior from St. Thomas, Barbados. The Northeast-10 Player of the Year and All-Northeast-10 First-Team honoree has helped team into the NCAA Quarterfinals this weekend. Ranked No. 2 nationally in hitting percentage and in the top-10 in blocks per set, Niles is receiving her first AVCA All-America award.
Emily Palkert, a 5-11 middle blocker for Concordia University-St. Paul, is a sophomore from Excelsior, Minn. Ranked nationally in hitting percentage and kills per set, Palkert was named to the 2008 NSIC All-Conference team after leading the Golden Bears the team's fifth-consecutive NSIC championship. This is her first AVCA First-Team All-America award.
Laura Prinsen, a 5-9 right-side/opposite for West Texas A&M University, is a junior from Spring, Texas. This season Prinsen, who is ranked in the top-10 nationally in kills per set, led the Lady Buffs to their third-consecutive conference title and into the semifinals of the South Central Region Tournament. For her efforts, she earned the LSC Offensive Player of the Year award, was named to the All-LSC First-Team and now receives her first AVCA All-America honor.
Melissa Vanderhall, a 5-9 outside hitter for the University of Tampa, is a sophomore from Hempstead, N.Y. Vanderhall, who earned SSC Player of the Year and All-SSC First-Team honors, led the Spartans a first-place conference finish and into the NCAA South Region semifinals. This is the first time Vanderhall has earned AVCA All-America honors.
Jeri Walkowiak, a 5-11 middle blocker for the University of Nebraska-Kearney, is a sophomore from Grand Island, Neb. The RMAC Player of the Year and All-RMAC First-Team selection led her team a first-place finish in the East Division of the conference and into the semifinals of the NCAA Central Region Tournament. Walkowiak is a first-time AVCA All-American.
AVCA All-America Second Team
Ludmila Amaral, a 6-0 middle blocker for California University of Pennsylvania, is a junior from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Amaral ranks in the top five nationally in hitting percentage, and also is among the nation's leaders in both kills and blocks per set. Amaral, whose Vulcans are now 40-1 going into this week's national quarterfinals, is a first-time AVCA All-American.
Jamie Ashmore, a 5-9 setter for Grand Valley State University, is a senior from LaPorte, Ind. Ashmore, a three-time All-GLIAC selection, led the Lakers to one of the nation's top hitting percentages this season, as well as the national quarterfinals later this week. Ashmore is a first-time AVCA All-American.
Rhea Cardwell, a 5-10 outside hitter for the University of Alaska-Anchorage, is a senior from Prineville, Ore. Cardwell is ranked in the top five in Division II in kills per set, and set numerous team and conference match, season and career kills records, en route to leading her Seawolves to tripling their win total from a year ago. This AVCA All-America honor is both the first for Cardwell, and the first for Alaska-Anchorage.
Allie Cherven, a 6-1 middle blocker for Truman State University, is a senior from St. Charles, Mo. Cherven ranks in the top 15 nationally in blocks per set, and has helped her team to its fifth national quarterfinals appearance in the last eight years. Cherven is a two-time AVCA All-American, having also garnered Second-Team accolades in 2007.
Natalie Forbes, a 5-1 setter for Northern Kentucky University, is a senior from Fort Thomas, Ky. Forbes, an All-GLVC First-Team selection, ranks in the top 15 nationally in assists per set, and led NKU to the second-best team hitting percentage in the country. Forbes receives AVCA All-America honors for the first time.
Whitney Meierotto, a 5-8 outside hitter for Concordia University-St. Paul, is a senior from Washburn, Wis. One of the Golden Bears' top all-around players, Meierotto has notched 17 double-doubles this season, including 11 of the last 12 matches, highlighted by an 18-kill, 27-dig performance against Nebraska-Kearney in the NCAA Tournament. Meierotto is a first-time AVCA All-American.
Camilla Pagnan, a 5-10 outside hitter for Barry University, is a senior from Morro da Fumaca, Brazil. The First-Team All-SSC honoree leads all of Division II in kills per set, and led the conference in total kills and kills per set. This honor marks Pagnan's first as an AVCA All-American.
Valia Petrova, a 5-1 setter for Nova Southeastern University, is a senior from Sofia, Bulgaria. Petrova ranks among the nation's leaders in both assists and aces per set, and is the Sharks' career record holder in total assists and aces, as well as assists and aces per set. The first AVCA All-American from Nova Southeastern leads her team to the national quarterfinals for the first time in the program's history.
Luciana Rapach, a 5-9 right side/opposite for The University of West Florida, is a senior from Porto Alegre, Brazil. The all-around standout for the Argos posted nine double-doubles and her first career triple-double this season, and finishes her West Florida career in the school's top ten in seven different all-time categories, and five single-season categories. This is Rapach's second AVCA All-America honor, garnering Third-Team accolades a year ago.
Whitney Sanders, a 6-1 middle blocker for the University of North Alabama, is a senior from Haleyville, Ala. Sanders ranks in the top ten nationally in kills per set, and also ranks among the elite in Division II in both blocks per set and hitting percentage. The first-team All-Gulf South selection is a first-time AVCA All-American.
Mary Slinger, a 5-8 libero for Concordia University-St. Paul, is a junior from Faribault, Minn. Slinger has recorded double-digit digs in all but two matches this season for the Golden Bears, and, with one more season to go, she currently ranks second on the school's all-time digs list. Slinger is a first-time AVCA All-American.
Maria Steinhagen, a 5-10 middle blocker for Concordia University-St. Paul, is a senior from Alexandria, Minn. Steinhagen sits among the national leaders in both blocks per set and hitting percentage, and also passed 1,000 kills for her career this season. The two-time All-NSIC honoree is now also a two-time AVCA All-American, having garnered Third-Team accolades a season ago.
Vanessa Williams, a 6-1 middle blocker for Cal Poly Pomona, is a senior from Riverside, Calif. Williams ranks second in the country in blocks per set, led her conference in blocks and was fifth in hitting percentage, and finished the season as the Broncos' leader in kills, hitting percentage and blocks. Williams is a first-time AVCA All-American.
Sarah Wyffels, a 5-10 middle blocker for the University of Minnesota Duluth, is a junior from Marshall, Minn. The All-NSIC honoree sits among the nation's leaders in hitting percentage, and ranks also in the top ten in the conference in kills per set. This is the first AVCA All-America nod for Wyffels.
AVCA All-America Third-Team
Rebecca Bailey, a 5-9 outside hitter for the University of California, San Diego, is a senior from Escondido, Calif. The First-Team All-CCAA honoree recently became the UCSD's career kills leader, tallying over 1,300 during her four years. Ranked in the top-15 nationally in kills, Bailey earns her first AVCA All-American distinction.
Gabriela Bulawcyzk, a 6-1 outside hitter for California State University, Los Angeles, is a junior from Sulechow, Poland. A First-Team All-CCAA selection, Bulawcyzk sits among the nation's leaders in kills per set, as well as ranking in the CCAA's top-three in total kills, kills per set and aces. This AVCA All-America honor is the first for Bulawcyzk.
Pamela Cartagena, a 5-7 outside hitter for Pittsburg State University, is a junior from Bayamon, Puerto Rico. A versatile player for the Gorillas, Cartagena is among the nation and the MIAA's leaders in digs per set, while also posing as a serious attacking threat. The three-time First-Team All-MIAA selection earns her second AVCA All-America nod, taking home Second-Team honors in 2007.
Renata da Silva, a 5-8 setter for California University of Pennsylvania, is a junior from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Ranked among the nation's leaders in assists per set, da Silva is a 2008 First-Team All-PSAC honoree, as well as the MVP of the conference tournament. da Silva is a two-time AVCA All-American, also garnering Third-Team accolades in 2007.
Danielle Higginbotham, a 6-1 middle blocker for Florida Southern College, is a senior from Tallahassee, Fla. One of the conference's top attackers, Higginbotham ranks among the SSC leaders in hitting percentage and kills. A First-Team All-SSC honoree, is a first-time AVCA-All American selection.
Jessica Howe, a 6-0 outside hitter for Regis University, is a sophomore from Pueblo, Colo. In just her second collegiate campaign, Howe earned a spot on the all-conference team, after ranking among the top in the RMAC in points and kills per set, as well as hitting percentage. Howe, the 2008 RMAC Tournament MVP, is making her first appearance as an AVCA All-American.
Kasey Loeslie, a 6-1 middle blocker for Southwest Minnesota State University, is a senior from Tracy, Minn. An All-NSIC selection, Loeslie has etched her name in to the SMSU record books in several categories, including kills, hitting percentage and blocks. Also among the conference leaders in hitting percentage, points and kills per set, Loeslie is a first-time AVCA All-American.
Eli Medina, a 5-8 outside hitter for Truman State University, is a senior from Kansas City, Missouri. Medina sits among the conference leaders in kills per set, and has notched both 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs during her career. A member of the All-MIAA Second-Team, Medina is a first-time AVCA All-American.
Ashley Nachreiner, a 5-11 outside hitter for Minnesota State University, is a senior from Round Rock, Texas. Nachreiner ranks in the top-20 nationally in kills and also sits among the NSIC leaders in points, kills and aces per set. A 2008 All-NSIC selection, Nachreiner has now earned her second AVCA All-America distinction, also garnering Third-Team laurels in 2007.
Michelle Nogueras, a 5-8 setter for Saint Leo University, is a junior from Cayey, Puerto Rico. A multiple-threat for opponents and an all-around producer for the Lions, Nogueras ranks among the conference leaders in hitting percentage and assists, aces and digs per set. Nogueras, an All-SSC selection, earns her first AVCA All-America award.
Melissa Powers, a 5-10 middle blocker for Wingate University, is a senior from Bennett, N.C. Powers, the 2008 SAC Player of the Year and First-Team all-conference honoree, ranks in the top-five nationally in kills per set and also appears among the SAC leaders in that category, as well as in aces and blocks. This is Powers' first AVCA All-America distinction.
Arica Shepard, a 5-9 outside hitter for Emporia State University, is a junior from Rossville, Kan. A two-time First-Team All-MIAA selection, Shepard stands first in the conference in both points and kills per set, in addition to ranking among the nation's leaders in the latter. This marks the first AVCA All-America award for Shepard.
Andrea Tuck, a 6-0 outside hitter for Adams State College, is a junior from Erie, Colo. Tuck led the RMAC and Central Region in kills per set, while also ranking among the conference's leaders in both points and aces per set. Tuck, a two-time First-Team All-RMAC selection, is a first-time AVCA All-American.
Sammie Williams, a 6-1 right side/opposite for Pittsburg State University, is a senior from Blue Springs, Mo. The First-Team All-MIAA honoree ranks nationally in kills per set, also sitting among the conference leaders in that category in addition to points per set. Williams is a first-time AVCA All-American.
AVCA Division II National Freshman of the Year
Maja Potapara, a 6-0 setter for Dowling College, is from Pljevlja, Montenegro. Potpara, the East Coast Conference's Player and Rookie of the Year, was a huge all-around factor in Dowling's success this season, guiding the Golden Lions to the NCAA East Region final. She ranked nationally in service aces per set, while leading her team in kills and averaging 5.35 assists and 1.74 digs per set.