VB: ALL-NWC - Three Members of Much-Improved Bruins Earn All-Conference Honors
NEWBERG, Ore. - Three members of the 2009 George Fox University women's volleyball team which posted in its best record in seven years - Eliza Pledger and Lyndsay Hovee on the Second Team and Kaitlyn Maddams as an honorable mention - have received All-Northwest Conference honors as voted on by the league's nine coaches.
Pledger, a sophomore from Wilsonville, Ore., who transferred to George Fox after one season at Boise State, led the conference and ranked seventh nationally in blocks per set (1.30) as a middle blocker. She totaled 117 blocks (35 solo, 82 assists) on the season, including a high of 13 (1 solo, 12 assists) in one match vs. Chapman in the Cal-Lu-fornia Tournament. She averaged 1.92 kills per set, with a high of 13 kills in a match at Puget Sound, and had a hitting percentage of .261 on 173 kills and 61 errors in 429 attempts, which ranked seventh in the conference. She was named both the Bruin Athletic Association Women's Athlete of the Week and the Northwest Conference Volleyball Student-Athlete of the Week twice during the season.
Hovee, a senior outside hitter from Belfair, Wash., ranked sixth in the conference in kills per set (2.99) and fifth in digs per set (4.06), with 365 total digs. Her hitting percentage was .185, with 269 kills and 114 errors in 837 attempts. She posted double figures in kills 17 times, with a high of 17 in one match vs. Puget Sound, and in digs 21 times, with 20 or more five times, including a high of 29 vs. Pomona-Pitzer in the Cal-Lu-fornia Tournament. She also collected 30 block assists and served 13 aces. She was named the Bruin Athletic Association Women's Athlete of the Week twice, the Northwest Conference Volleyball Student-Athlete of the Week once, and was honorable mention for NWC Student-Athlete honors once.
Maddams, who hails from Gresham, Ore., was one of only three freshmen on the All-NWC teams. As a middle blocker, she ranked fifth in the league and 46th in the NCAA in blocks per set (0.98), with 86 total blocks (5 solo, 81 assists), and was sixth in hitting percentage with a .263 mark on 137 kills and 39 errors in 373 attempts. She also had 28 service aces, ranking eighth in the NWC in aces per set (0.32), and 56 digs. Her highs included 12 kills vs. Chapman in the Cal-Lu-fornia Tournament, nine blocks vs. Willamette and at Whitman, and five aces vs. Puget Sound. She was the Bruin Athletic Association Women's Athlete of the Week once, and received honorable mention for NWC Student-Athlete honors that same week.
The trio played key roles for a George Fox team that was only picked to finish seventh in the conference in the NWC pre-season coaches' poll but surprised everyone with a tie for third. The Bruins went 17-7 overall, their best mark since a 20-6 campaign in 2002, and were 10-6 in the league. It was the 21st winning record for head coach Steve Grant in 28 years at George Fox, and gives him a career record of 556-365, ranking him among the top 15 for victories among active D-III coaches.
In the Cal-Lu-fornia Tournament, the Bruins were 4-0, including wins over Chapman and Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion Redlands, both NCAA Division III National Tournament teams. The Bruins also defeated 22nd-ranked and NCAA Tournament participant Puget Sound on the road, and won nine in a row in mid-season, their longest streak since winning 20 straight in 1998.
Kelcy Joynt of NWC champion Pacific Lutheran was named Player of the Year, and Lutes head coach Kevin Aoki was chosen Coach of the Year.