Three Volleyball Players Named to All-SEC Teams
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Junior Kentucky middle blocker Queen Nzenwa (Baltimore, Md.) was named a first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection to highlight a cast of three Wildcats named to the 2007 All-SEC teams, the league office in Birmingham, Ala., announced Tuesday.
Senior middle blocker Nicole Britenriker (Cincinnati, Ohio) was named to the league’s second team, while freshman right-side Lauren Rapp (Indianapolis, Ind.) was selected as part of the all-freshman team.
“We are honored to have three All-SEC selections again this year as a program,” UK head coach Craig Skinner said. “As a staff, we are excited for Lauren, Nicole and Queen. They all are very deserving of this recognition.”
Nzenwa, who became UK’s career and single-season block assists leader earlier this season, led the SEC in both blocks and hitting percentage for the majority of the season. In SEC matches, Nzenwa led the league with 1.62 blocks per game and had a squad-best .334 hitting percentage.
Overall, Nzenwa leads the team and the SEC with a .370 hitting percentage and 1.62 blocks per game. She ranked ninth in the nation in blocks according to the latest NCAA rankings and recorded a career-high 12 kills five times during the year. She played in each of the team’s 31 matches and 120 games during the year, leading or tying for the team lead in blocks in 19 matches.
Nzenwa marks Kentucky’s first-team All-SEC selection since libero Jenni Casper, the SEC’s all-time digs leader, earned the distinction as a freshman in 2003. She earns the honor after being an SEC second-team selection last season.
Britenriker was the only middle blocker in the SEC to play every rotation. She started each of the team’s 31 matches during the year. In conference matches only, she ranked first on the team and fourth in the SEC with 3.90 kills per game. She also hit .296 in league action, which ranked ninth in the SEC, and was second on the team in digs with 3.06 per game in the conference. Britenriker was third on the team with 1.07 blocks per game in league play.
Overall, Britenriker tallied a team-leading 20 double-doubles and recorded double-digit kills in each of the team’s 31 matches. She eclipsed the 20-kill plateau four times during the season and the 20-dig plateau on two occasions. Britenriker boasted a .957 reception percentage, the best mark of any non-defensive specialist on the team and the second-best mark on the team (min. 600 reception attempts). She eclipsed the 1,000-kill mark for her career earlier this season. Britenriker also earned second-team All-SEC honors last season.
Britenriker was tops on the team (all matches) in kills per game with 3.90, ranked second in blocks per game with 1.17 and was third on the team in digs with 3.00 scoops per game.
Rapp, a three-time SEC Freshman of the Week selection, played in every match and every game during the season without being substituted for on the front row. In conference matches only, she was fourth on the team with 2.51 kills per game, second in service aces with 18 and third on the team in blocks with 1.00 per game. She recorded double-digit kills in 11 conference matches and 14 matches overall.
Rapp, who excelled despite moving to a new position (right side) after being a middle blocker throughout high school and club volleyball, was fourth on the team with 2.42 kills per game and also fourth in hitting percentage with a .261 clip. She was third in blocks with 1.11 rejections per game.