LEXINGTON, Ky. –
Junior Kentucky middle blocker Queen Nzenwa
(Baltimore, Md.), the school’s first All-America team selection since 1993, concluded the 2007 season ranked eighth in the nation in blocks per game, according to the final NCAA statistics.
Nzenwa, a 2007 All-Southeastern Conference First Team selection and an AVCA All-South Region honoree, recorded an impressive junior season in which she became the school’s all-time career and single-season leader in block assists. Nzenwa led the SEC in both blocks per game and hitting percentage, finishing the year with a league-best .371 hitting percentage and a conference-leading 1.61 blocks per game.
Nzenwa has 437 block assists for her career and looks to become the first player in school history to accumulate 500 or more block assists in a career. Nzenwa concluded the year with 174 block assists, which is the school’s all-time single-season record. Her 174 block assists in a single season ranks her eighth all-time on the SEC’s single-season block assists list.
NCAA’s Top 10 - Blocks Per Game in 2007
1. Lecia Brown, Louisville – 2.07
2. Endia Oliver, Tenn. State – 1.83
3. Arielle Wilson, Penn. State – 1.80
4. Michelle Segun, Portland State – 1.71
T5. Mekana Barnes, Colorado State – 1.65
T5. Christa Harrotto, Penn. State – 1.65
7. Jessy Jones, Minnesota – 1.62
8. Queen Nzenwa, Kentucky – 1.61
T9. Ellen Orchard, Cal – 1.60
T9. Alli Arbogast, USF – 1.60
Nzenwa Also Among Nation’s Leaders in Hitting Percentage
Junior middle blocker Queen Nzenwa (Baltimore, Md.) also finished the season ranked 26th nationally in hitting percentage. Nzenwa’s .371 hitting percentage ranks fourth all-time in UK’s single-season hitting percentage chart and her career efficiency mark of .333 ranks third all-time on the school’s career hitting percentage list. She hit .341 in 2006, which is seventh all-time in single-season school annals, and now holds two of the school’s top 10 hitting efficiency marks.
Keeping Up with the UK Volleyball Family
A pair of former Kentucky volleyball players have just returned from trips studying abroad. Class of 2006 seniors Julie Gagnon (Wheaton, Ill.) and Melissa Popp (Indianapolis, Ind.) have both returned back to the United States after spending the past semester learning about the cultures and lifestyles of other countries.
Gagnon, an early elementary education major, spent the past semester in Christchurch, New Zealand, while Popp, who is a marketing and Spanish major, spent the past several months in Madrid, Spain.
Class of 2005 senior Amy Kaplan (Cary, Ill.) is teaching physical education at Woodstock High School in the Chicago area and coaches the freshman volleyball team at her alma mater Cary-Grove High School. Classmate Danielle Wallace (Port Charlotte, Fla.), the 2005 SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year, is in her third year of pharmacy school at UK and spent the 2007 volleyball season as a junior varsity coach at Lexington Catholic.
Cats Lead SEC in Rookie Success
Kentucky again led the SEC in freshman success as the Wildcats captured the league’s Freshman of the Week award a conference-leading four times during the 2007 campaign. Over the past two seasons, a UK player has earned that distinction seven times, marking the most of any school in that same two-year period. This season, right-side Lauren Rapp (Indianapolis, Ind.) thrice earned the award, while outside hitter Sarah Mendoza (Winter Park, Fla.) received the honor once.
SEC Freshman of the Week Awards by School (Past Two Seasons)Kentucky 7 LSU 5 Florida 3 Georgia 3 Mississippi State 3 Tennessee 3 Arkansas 1 Ole Miss 1 South Carolina 1
AVCA Final Poll Released
The 2007 final American Volleyball Coaches Association poll was announced on Dec. 19. Two of Kentucky’s opponents from this season – Florida and Michigan State - were among the nation’s final top 25, while LSU earned votes.
1. Penn State (60)
3. Southern California
13. St. John’s
15. Middle Tennessee State
16. Kansas State
17. Iowa State
20. Michigan State
21. New Mexico
23. Long Beach State
25. San Diego
Others Receiving Votes and appearing on two or more ballots: Colorado State 47; Oklahoma 39; Ohio 33; Duke 32; Tulane 22; LSU 20; Purdue 19; Sacramento State 12; Wichita State 9; Louisville 8; UNLV 5; Santa Clara 3.
SEC in the NCAA Tournament Results
Clemson def. Alabama (Clemson, S.C)
3-1 (30-25, 30-27, 31-33, 30-26)
Florida def. College of Charleston (Gainesville, Fla.)
3-0 (30-22, 30-28, 30-14)
Michigan State def. Kentucky (Dayton, Ohio)
3-0 (30-28, 30-23, 30-27)
LSU def. New Mexico State (Austin, Texas)
3-2 (30-25, 21-30, 21-30, 30-27, 15-13)
BYU def. Ole Miss (Seattle, Wash.)
3-0 (30-27, 30-21, 30-24)
Florida def. Oklahoma (Gainesville, Fla.)
3-0 (30-24, 30-24, 36-34)
Texas def. LSU (Austin, Texas)
3-0 (30-21, 30-22, 30-23)
Texas def. Florida (Gainesville, Fla.)
3-1 (30-27, 29-31, 30-16, 30-15)