Dec. 12, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -
The University of Notre Dame volleyball student-athletes Toni Alugbue and Jeni Houser were each named AVCA Honorable Mention All-Americans, the organization announced on Wednesday.
The sophomore duo are two of 129 student-athletes named to the first, second, third or honorable mention teams, including two of 87 named honorable mention All-Americans.
They are the first Irish players to be honored since 2009 when Serenity Phillips was named third team All-American and Christina Kaelin and Jamel Nicholas were selected honorable mention All-Americans. Overall, 11 Irish student-athletes have earned AVCA All-America honors 15 times.
Alugbue and Houser each turned in sensational years for the Irish, who earned spots in both the BIG EAST and NCAA Championships and won 20 matches for the first time since 2009.
"Being named as All-Americans is a huge boost for them and for our program," said head coach Debbie Brown. "Both had such great seasons in carrying the bulk of our offense that they deserve this honor. Toni and Jeni both improved greatly from last year and it showed on the court this season."
Alugbue, who made the transition from the middle to the outside prior to this season, blossomed on the outside, as she started all 30 matches and proved to be one of the most versatile players on the roster. The Del Aire, Calif., native led the team in kills (30) and kills per set (3.45), was second in digs (272) and digs per set (2.41), was third in service aces (17) and sixth in blocks (68). Alugbue was named first team all-BIG EAST after finishing fifth in the league in kills per set and sixth in points per set.
Houser, a right side hitter, played in all 30 matches for the Irish, starting 24. The Louisville, Ky., native tallied 379 kills for an average of 3.32 per set, and hit an impressive .324 for the year. Houser also was a force at the nets as she blocked 89 hits for an average of 0.78 per set. She was named first team all-BIG EAST after finishing eighth in the league in hitting percentage, ninth in kills per set and 10th in points.
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