Nov. 29, 2010
NORMAN, Okla. – University of Oklahoma middle blocker Sallie McLaurin (Midwest City, Okla.) was named the 2010 Big 12 Freshman of the Year, as announced by the league office this afternoon. Juniors Brianne Barker (Amarillo, Texas) and Suzy Boulavsky (Houston, Texas) were named to the All-Big 12 first team. McLaurin was also named to the All-Freshman team. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes.
“It’s a great honor to be hosting first and second rounds for the first time and to have our first Freshman of the Year honored the same week,” said Oklahoma head coach Santiago Restrepo. “The honor speaks volumes of how hard Sallie has worked and we’re proud of Brianne and Suzy for their recognition, as well. It’s a great accomplishment to be recognized, and they’re all very deserving.”
McLaurin is the first Sooner to earn Freshman of the Year honors and just the fourth to earn an “of the Year” distinction. Eliane Santos earned Co-Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2006, the same season Anna Monsen earned Co-Libero of the Year. Cathy Cook was the league’s Newcomer of the Year in 1999. She is the fifth OU player to be named to the all-freshman team.
McLaurin led the Sooners in blocking with a 1.24 per set average this year. The mark ranked fourth in the league. Her .319 hitting percentage is also a team-best and ranks seventh among all players in the Big 12. McLaurin dropped 28 block solos and 110 block assists with 87 total blocks coming during conference play.
The 87 blocks are the fourth-most by a freshman in conference matches only since the rally scoring era began in 2001. McLaurin ranks 34th nationally in blocks per set. The total is the fourth-most by a freshman in the NCAA this year.
Barker and Boulavsky earned first team All-Big 12 honors for the first time in their careers. Barker previously was named honorable mention in 2009 and to the all-freshman team in 2008. Boulavsky was an honorable mention American Volleyball Coaches Association All-Region selection in 2009. Barker and Boulavsky are the third and fourth players to earn the honor. Santos (2006) and Patrice Arrington (1997) were the other two.
Boulavsky led the Sooners with a 3.55 kills per set average this season. She hit .282 from the right side and had a team-best 454.5 points on the year. Barker averaged 10.36 assists per set and 2.65 digs. Barker paced the OU offense to a .226 hitting percentage on the year and 13.53 kills per set, both ranking in the top five in the conference.
2010 ALL-BIG 12 VOLLEYBALL AWARDS
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Juliann Faucette, Texas, OH, Sr., 6-2, San Diego, Calif./Westview
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Lauren Cook, Nebraska, S, So., 5-8, Lincoln, Neb./UCLA^
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Sallie McLaurin, Oklahoma, MB, Fr., 6-2, Midwest City, Okla./Carl Albert
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Hannah Werth, Nebraska, OH, So., 6-1, Springfield, Ill./Glenwood
LIBERO OF THE YEAR: Ashley Mass, Iowa State, DS/L, Sr., 5-8, Muskego, Wis./Muskego
CO-COACHES OF THE YEAR: John Cook, Nebraska; Jerritt Elliott, Texas
ALL-BIG 12 FIRST TEAM
Elizabeth Graham, Baylor
Victoria Henson, Iowa State^
Ashley Mass, Iowa State
Jamie Straube, Iowa State
Paola Ampudia, Missouri^
Brooke Delano, Nebraska^
Lindsay Licht, Nebraska
Hannah Werth, Nebraska
Brianne Barker, Oklahoma
Suzy Boulavsky, Oklahoma^
Rachael Adams, Texas^
Juliann Faucette, Texas^
Kelsey Black, Texas A&M
Amanda Dowdy, Texas Tech
ALL-BIG 12 HONORABLE MENTION
Karina Garlington, Kansas
Molly Kreklow, Missouri
Kayla Banwarth, Nebraska
Jennifer Doris, Texas
Amber Roberson, Texas
Allie Sawatzky, Texas A&M
Kaitlynn Pelger, Kansas State
Lisa Henning, Missouri
Molly Kreklow, Missouri^
Morgan Broekhuis, Nebraska^
Sallie McLaurin, Oklahoma^
Allie Sawatzky, Texas A&M
^ - Unanimous Selection; Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes.