1997 AVCA NAIA National Player of the Year

12/12/1997

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Yang Zhe of Columbia College Named 1997 AVCA NAIA National Player of the Year

Colorado Springs, Colo. - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) is pleased to announce that Columbia College's (Mo.) Yang Zhe has been selected as the 1997 AVCA National Player of the Year for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

Zhe, a junior from Liao Yang, China, led Columbia with 1,765 total assists for a 13.07 per game average. She also contributed 228 kills, 93 blocks and 78 service aces as the Cougars finished the season tied for fifth at the NAIA Tournament.

Depite having four of six starters injured at different times, including herself, Zhe was able to lead the team to the Midwest Region championship and a top eight finish at the national tournament, said co-head coach Wayne Kreklow.

Recently named the Midwest Region Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, Zhe has played in two NAIA National Tournaments, two Midwest Regional Tournaments, two American Midwest Conference Tournaments and nine regular-season tournaments during the past two seasons, never failing to make an all-tournament team.  During her two years at Columbia, the Cougars have recorded 87 wins and just 5 losses.

Additionally, Zhe was been named Midwest Region Setter of the Week three times this season and American Midwest Conference Player of the Week four times.  Her 3.4 grade point average also qualified her for 1997 AMC Academic All-Conference honors.

The formal presentation of awards to the 1997 AVCA National Players of the Year will be made Dec. 19, 1997, in Spokane, Wash., at the AVCA Player of the Year/All-America brunch beginning at 9:30 a.m.  The brunch, which will take place at the Spokane Doubletree City Center, is held in conjunction with the 1997 AVCA National Convention.

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