Five Players Earn All-SEC Honors

Nov. 30, 2009

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Five Kentucky volleyball players earned All-Conference honors it was announced by the league office on Monday afternoon. With five selections to the various All-SEC teams Kentucky matches a school-record with five selections after having the same number of athletes earn All-SEC distinctions a season ago. Kentucky's five selections is also a league-high among other league institutions in total honors marking the second straight season UK has achieved that feat as well.

Senior Sarah Rumely and junior Sarah Mendoza were tabbed All-SEC first team members, while senior BriAnne Sauer and junior Lauren Rapp earned second-team distinctions. Freshman Stephanie Klefot was a member of the All-SEC Freshman team.

"We are very pleased with our players earning All-SEC honors," Kentucky coach Craig Skinner said. "They are well-deserved awards and are a great compliment to the success of our team this season. Our success has been dependent on having several people put up quality numbers, which these five players have done. If you look at the stats we also have a couple of other players that very easily could have been all conference as well."

Rumely earns All-SEC first team honors for the second consecutive season after earning the same distinction in her junior campaign. In her senior season she shattered the all-time UK record for career assists while also leading the SEC and ranking among the top-10 in the nation with 11.82 assists per set. Once this season she was tabbed the SEC's Offensive Player of the Week after capturing MVP honors at the Kansas State tournament. The New Palestine, Ind., native is a three-time All-SEC honoree after earning All-SEC freshman team honors in her first season. A starter from the day she arrived in Lexington, Rumely has made her mark felt in the UK record books appearing among the all-time leaders in sets played, hitting percentage, assists, aces, block assists and digs.

Mendoza is an All-SEC first team member for the first time in her career after earning All-SEC second team honors a season ago. The outside hitter has enjoyed the most productive season of her career in nearly every category. Mendoza led the SEC with an average of 4.11 kills per set and had over six matches with 20 or more kills. She ranks among the top-30 in the nation in kills per frame. Mendoza also improved her hitting percentage and blocks in her third season in the Blue and White. The Winter Park, Fla., native earned SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors after helping UK to an upset of the then top-10 ranked Florida Gators on their home floor in early October. In a match against Georgia, Mendoza became just the 13th player in school history to strike for over 1,000 career kills.

Sauer is a member of the All-SEC second team and it marks the first time in her career she has achieved an All-Conference selection. It is an honor very much deserved as the senior from Louisville enjoyed the best season of her career in her final run. Sauer led the team with a career-best 4.57 digs per frame, and also led the SEC in scoops per set in league matches only. She became just the second player in school history to amass over 1,500 career digs - a total that also has her ranked among the league's top-10 best totals in a career. Sauer charted a career-best 35 dig performance against Tennessee in the middle of October and became the first player in over three seasons to reach that plateau. Twice this season Sauer captured All-SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors.

Rapp's All-SEC second team distinction is the third time in her career she has achieved All-SEC honors after earning second-team distinctions as a sophomore and All-Freshman team honors in her first campaign. Rapp developed her efficiency in her third season at UK with a career-best .322 hitting percentage, a clip which ranks among the league leaders in that category. She ranked second on the team with 2.49 kills per stanza and she also averaged 0.72 blocks per frame. Rapp ranks among UK's all-time leaders in career hitting-percentage and she broke into the record books for career block assists in just her third season.

Klefot's All-SEC freshman team honors is a first for the first-year player from Louisville. She became a steady force for Kentucky's defensive efforts in the back-row as she averaged 2.69 digs per set despite playing just three rotations. For the season she picked up 291 scoops which is the second highest total on the team trailing only UK's libero in Sauer. She had two matches with 20 or more digs and led the squad in digs on five occasions. Also a strong server for the Blue and White, Klefot accounted for 24 aces on the season - the second most on the squad.

This marks the fifth consecutive season the Wildcats (27-4, 17-3) have been selected to appear in the NCAA Tournament. Last year's four straight selections was a school record, which makes Skinner the only Kentucky coach to lead his team to post-season play in every season he has coached.

A Tournament Central site is available at UKathletics.com with information on all four teams, a seating chart and parking information. Follow along all week at Kentucky's official homepage for up-to-date information and news regarding the NCAA Volleyball Tournament.