As the No. 17 Florida Gators head into today’s NCAA Regionals at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center, they have plenty to celebrate with positive news continuing to flow through the program.
The latest is Florida seniors Kelly Murphy and Kristy Jaeckel being named to the 2011 AVCA All-South Region Team, announced on Tuesday by the association offices in Lexington, Ky. 10 SEC student-athletes were named to the All-South Region Team with two others earning an Honorable Mention.
The duo’s accolades into the All-Region Teams makes them eligible for AVCA All-American honors, which will be announced on Wednesday, December 14th.
Murphy is making her senior year as memorable as ever as the 2011 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award finalist who leads the Gators with 651 assists on the year. She ranks third in the SEC in service aces notching 38 on the year, roughly .35 per set and sixth in hitting percentage hitting on a .329 clip. The setter and right-side hitter is second in kills recording 267 on the season and points with 336.5, and third in digs scooping up, 244.
The Illinois native has started every match and set of her career, ranks in the top-10 all-time at Florida in kills, points, assists, service aces and hitting percentage. Murphy has 28 career triple-doubles and 74 career double-doubles and is a three-time All-American. Murphy was also named to the 2011 Preseason All-SEC selection, the All-Tournament Team at the Nike Big Four Volleyball Classic, the Active Ankle SEC/ACC Challenge and the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational. Murphy was named the AVCA National Player of the Week and SEC Offensive Player of the Week for her triple-double in a 3-set sweep of Mississippi State.
Murphy becomes part of an elite group, as she is one of only two 2011 athletes named to an All-Region Team for all four years of her career.
Jaeckel picked her senior year to shine as the outside hitter is the 2011 SEC Co-Scholar Athlete of the Year and leads Florida in kills, points and aces on the season. The Colorado native has registered 372 kills on the season to rank seventh in the SEC to go along with 463.0 points for fourth in the SEC and 48 aces to rank 1st in SEC and 21st in NCAA. She hits the University of Florida record books as she becomes just the ninth player in Gator history to reach 3,000 or more attacks and is second on the team in digs with 249 on the year.
She was also named the AVCA National Player of the Week and SEC Offensive Player of the Week in the same week for her outstanding performances on the road in Auburn and Georgia. Jaeckel was also named to the All-Tournament Team at the Nike Big Four Volleyball Classic, the Active Ankle SEC/ACC Challenge and the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational, where she was named the Tournament MVP. Jaeckel was also a 2011 Preseason All-SEC selection and is a CoSIDA First Team Academic All-District selection. The senior is a three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll, currently majoring in Sports Management sustaining a perfect 4.0.
The Gators are continuing their 21st consecutive 20-win season by advancing to their 20th regional semifinal under Florida head coach Mary Wise. Florida will play host to the Big Ten Michigan Wolverines at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, December 9th in the regional semifinals in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. The winner advances to face either No. 3 seed Illinois or Ohio State in the regional final on Saturday, December 10th, at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Friday, Dec. 9
5:00pm – No. 3 Seed Illinois vs. Ohio State
7:00pm – Florida vs. Michigan
Saturday, Dec. 10
7:00pm – Match 1 Winner vs. Match 2 Winner
To order 2011 NCAA Regional tickets, log on to http://www.GatorZone.com/tickets.
2011 AVCA Division I South Region Team
Ashley Adams Middle Tennessee St. University OH Jr.
Whitney Billings University of Kentucky RS So.
Leslie Cikra University of Tennessee RS Jr.
DeeDee Harrison University of Tennessee MB Jr.
Christine Hartmann University of Kentucky S Jr.
Kristy Jaeckel** University of Florida OH Sr.
Stephanie Klefot University of Kentucky L Jr.
Kelly Murphy**** University of Florida RS/S Sr.
Elizabeth Neisler Samford University OH Jr.
Mary Pollmiller University of Tennessee S Fr.
Kelsey Robinson University of Tennessee OH So.
Jordyn Skinner Western Kentucky University OH Jr.
Melanie Stutsman** Western Kentucky University S So.
Regina Thomas** University of Mississippi MB Sr.
Region Freshman of the Year: Mary Pollmiller, Tennessee, S
Sarah Havel, Sr., Charleston, MA
Lauren Hutchinson, Jr., Samford, MA
Maggie Johnson, OH, Sr., Belmont
Meghan Mannari, libero, Jr., LSU
Jasmine Norton, OH, Jr., Arkansas
Maria Szivos, RS, Sr., M. Tenn. State
AVCA Division I South Region Coach of the Year: Craig Skinner, University of Kentucky
Gator Country reporter Elizabeth Rhodes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.