Nov. 15, 2012
MILWAUKEE, Ws. - The University of Notre Dame volleyball players Toni Alugbue, Jeni Houser and Maggie Brindock were named all-BIG EAST Thursday night at the league's annual awards banquet prior to the beginning of the 2012 BIG EAST Tournament on Friday. Alugbue and Houser earned first team honors, while Brindock received second team accolades.
The all-conference mention was the first for Alugbue and Brindock, while Houser earned second-team accolades last season as a freshman.
Alugbue turned in a sensational sophomore campaign after moving from the middle to the outside during the spring. The Del Aire, Calif., native earned a spot on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll four times and was named BIG EAST Player of the Week after helping the Irish get off to a 2-0 start in BIG EAST play with sensational performances against Cincinnati and Louisville. Appearing on all-tournament teams in all three Irish tournaments this season, Alugbue was named MVP of the Shamrock Invitational after hitting .700 with 21 kills in a 3-1 win over Buffalo.
She leads the Irish in kills (366) and kills per set (3.62), is second in digs (241) and digs per set (2.39) and is third in service aces (17) and service aces per set (0.17). She has also chipped in 63 blocks, good for an average of 0.62 per set, and has 12 double-doubles (kills and digs). In the BIG EAST, Alugbue is third in kills per set (3.62) and points per set (4.21).
Houser was placed on the preseason all-BIG EAST team and didn't disappoint, as she has pounded out 335 kills and hit .322, which is tops on the team for players over 100 kills. She is also second on the team with 83 blocks, good for an average of 0.81 per set. In the BIG EAST, Houser ranks eighth in attack percentage (.322), ninth in kills per set (3.28) and 10th in points per set (3.77).
The Louisville, Ky., native earned a spot on the Shamrock Invitational all-tournament team and was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll twice. She recorded double-figure kill totals in 21 matches, including a career-high 20 in a 3-1 win over UAB on Aug. 31. She also had a career-high seven blocks in a 3-1 win over St. John's.
Brindock took over as the team's full-time setter just one week into the season and never looked back as the junior had 15 matches with 30 or more assists, nine with 40 or more and five with 50 or more. She also tallied 12 double-doubles, including a triple double (12 kills, 38 assists, 11 digs) in a 3-1 win over Rutgers on Nov. 4. The triple-double was the first for an Irish player since 2004 and only the 22nd in school history. She earned a spot on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll twice, once for her triple-double weekend and again for a 59 assist, eight kill, 12 dig and three block weekend where the Irish swept Georgetown and Villanova.
The Rockwall, Texas native, set her career high in assists (54) in a 3-2 win over Cincinnati, and tied the mark two days later in a 3-2 win over No. 10 Louisville. In the BIG EAST, Brindock is seventh in assists per set (9.61), but upped her game in BIG EAST play, finishing third in assists per set (10.56). She is also sixth on the team in kills (95), fourth in service aces (11) and digs (207) and fifth in total blocks with 64.
The No. 3 seed Irish (20-7, 13-2 BIG EAST) open up BIG EAST Tournament play at 4:30 p.m. (ET)/3:30 p.m. (CT) Friday against USF (16-13, 7-8 BIG EAST). Fans can follow the match through live stats or watch the BIG EAST's free video stream online at BIGEAST.org.
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