1999 AVCA Division II National Player of the Year
Sarah Butler of West Texas A&M Named 1999 AVCA Division II Player of the Year
Colorado Springs, Colo. - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) is pleased to announce that West Texas A&M University's Sarah Butler, a 6-1 senior outside hitter from Amarillo, Texas, has been selected the 1999 AVCA Division II National Player of the Year.
Butler, now a three-time AVCA Division II First-Team All-America selection, joins Liu Jun (Northern Michigan University) and Stacey Metro (Northern Michigan University) as repeat winners of this prestigious honor. Butler earned the award as a sophomore in 1997, as the Lady Buffs won their third national title of the decade. WTAMU is among the Elite Eight Tournament field competing in Battle Creek, Mich., this week for the 1999 NCAA Division II national title.
As a senior this year, Butler has carried a heavy load for the Lady Buffs. She has tallied 669 kills and owns a .416 attack percentage, a 0.44 service ace average, she averages 4.11 digs per game and 0.81 blocks per game. She has been tabbed Most Valuable Player in all five tournaments this season with such an honor, in addition to being named to the All-Southwest Region All-Tournament Team. Butler was chosen the Sports Imports/AVCA Division II National Player of the Week (Sept. 6) after leading WTAMU to the Colorado Premier championship.
"Sarah is far and away the most complete player in the country," WTAMU head coach Tony Graystone said. "I think more than anything else this year is she taught the younger players how to win, how not to quit and how to pull out the close games. That is evident by the 32 matches we won by 3-0 scores. Ultimately, we have advanced to the Elite Eight because of how the younger players have matured throughout the season and the leadership role Sarah has played."
Butler, who has been chosen MVP of the Lone Star Conference South Division three years in row, has career per-game averages of 5.20 kills, 0.97 blocks, 3.59 digs and 0.30 aces. She now has 1,934 career kills in three seasons at WTAMU and 2,256 kills in her collegiate career (counting her one season at the University of Texas, when she earned Big 12 Freshman of the Year accolades).
WTAMU now has earned the top volleyball individual honor three times this decade. Ana Cristina Pereira was chosen the AVCA Division II National Player of the Year in 1991, as the Lady Buffs won their second national title in as many years.
The formal presentation of the award to the 1999 AVCA National Players of the Year will be made Dec. 17, 1999, in Honolulu, Hawai'i, at the AVCA All-America/Player of the Year banquet, beginning at 9 a.m. The banquet, which will take place at the Hawaiian Regent at Waikiki Beach, is held in conjunction with the 1999 AVCA National Convention and NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball National Championship.