The American Volleyball Coaches Association released its 2013 regional awards today with 14 Big 12 players earning first team honors and five receiving honorable mention designations. Additionally, Tayler Soucie (Kansas) Chiaka Ogbogu (Texas) earned regional Freshman of the Year awards, while Ray Bechard (Kansas) and Jerritt Elliott (Texas) claimed regional Coach of the Year accolades.
Bechard repeats as a Coach of the Year recipient after earning the Central Region honor in 2012. The 2013 Big 12 Coach of the Year has guided the Jayhawks to their first-ever NCAA Sweet 16 appearance this season. Kansas also finished a program-high second in the Big 12 and led the conference in assists per set (13.61), while ranking second in team hitting percentage (.259). In his 16th season at the helm, Bechard becomes the only coach in program history to earn Big 12 Coach of the Year honors in back-to-back seasons.
In his 13th season as head coach of the Longhorns, Elliott has led his team to an impressive undefeated season in conference play. Defending national champion Texas also concluded the regular season with a first place ranking in the AVCA national poll. The Longhorns were ranked atop the list for seven weeks straight, giving them the number one seed entering the NCAA Tournament. After receiving his 200th Big 12 win this season, Elliott became one of only two coaches with 200 or more conference wins. Elliott, a five-time AVCA Region Coach of the Year, has guided UT to its eighth straight NCAA Regional field.
Ogbogu was named the league’s Freshman of the Year. She was the only freshman on this year’s All-Big 12 First Team and was unanimously selected as an All-Freshman honoree. A dual threat for the Longhorns, Ogbogu ranked second in the league in hitting percentage in Big 12-only matches (.386), while ranking ninth (1.08) in blocks. Soucie also put up stellar offensive and defensive numbers in Big 12 play this season, ranking third in hitting percentage for league matches with a .371 clip and sixth in blocks with an average of 1.17. She is the first KU freshman to earn a regional Freshman of the Year honor in Big 12 history.
Nine league players were named to the AVCA Midwest Region Team, including five Kansas players and a pair of Cyclones. Kristen Hahn (Iowa State) and Caroline Jarmoc (Kansas) became two-time All-Region honorees. On the Southwest Region squad, Texas placed six players, while the league totaled 10 total members. UT’s Haley Eckerman and Bailey Webster became three-time selections, while Sallie McLaurin (Oklahoma) and Khat Bell (Texas) earned honors for the second consecutive season.
AVCA MIDWEST REGION COACH OF THE YEAR: Ray Bechard
AVCA MIDWEST REGION FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Tayler Soucie
AVCA SOUTHWEST REGION COACH OF THE YEAR: Jerrit Elliott
AVCA SOUTHWEST REGION FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Chiaka Ogbogu
AVCA MIDWEST REGION TEAM
Mackenzie Bigbee, Iowa State, So., RS
Kristen Hahn, Iowa State, Sr., L^
Chelsea Albers, Kansas, Jr., RS
Caroline Jarmoc, Kansas, Sr., MB^
Sara McClinton, Kansas, Jr., OH
Erin McNorton, Kansas, Sr., S
AVCA SOUTHWEST REGION TEAM
Sallie McLaurin, Oklahoma, Sr., MB^
Hannah Allison, Texas, Sr., S
Khat Bell, Texas, Jr., MB^
Haley Eckerman, Texas, Jr., OH^*
Molly McCage, Texas, So., MB
Chiaka Ogbogu, Texas, Fr., OPP
Bailey Webster, Texas, Sr., OH^*
Rachel Brummitt, Texas Tech, Jr., L
AVCA MIDWEST REGION HONORABLE MENTION
Tayler Soucie, Kansas, Fr., MB
Kaitlynn Pelger, Kansas State, Sr., MB^*
Jordan Anderson, West Virginia, Fr., OH
AVCA SOUTHWEST REGION HONORABLE MENTION
Stephanie Holland, TCU, Jr., OPP
Yvonne Igodan, TCU, Sr., MB
^ 2012 Honoree
* 2011 Honoree