The list was highlighted by a pair of first-team selections in opposite hitter Sarah Pavan (Kitchener, Ontario) and middle blocker Melissa Elmer (Fort Wayne, Ind.), while outside hitter Jennifer Saleaumua (National City, Calif.) was a second-team honoree.
It is the second award for Elmer, who was a second-team selection in 2003, while it is the first award for both Pavan and Saleaumua. As first-team selections, Pavan and Elmer will travel to the AVCA All-America banquet, which is set for Friday afternoon in Long Beach, Calif. The duo now gives Nebraska a total of 30 first-team All-Americans, matching Stanford for the national high in that category.
Nebraska, which went 30-2 and finished one win shy of the national semifinals, has now had 25 athletes combine for 49 AVCA first or second-team All-America awards, as the Huskers lead the nation in both categories.
Pavan, the first Husker freshman to ever earn AVCA All-America honors, also was chosen as the organization's National Freshman of the Year, becoming the first Husker to garner the prestigious honor. The Big 12 Freshman of the Year and a first-team all-conference selection, Pavan ranked fourth in the conference with 4.54 kills per game, while also ranking seventh in hitting percentage (.322). She set Husker freshman marks for kills (481) and kills per game, while recording 20-or-more kills seven times, the most since Nancy Metcalf (Meendering) had 10 in 1999. Pavan had a career high and NU postseason record 35 kills in the regional final loss to USC, the fifth-highest single-match total in school history.She is the first freshman to be an AVCA first-team All-American since Stanford's Logan Tom in 1999.
Elmer earns her second All-America honor, as she leads the nation in blocking (1.91 blocks/gm) entering this week's national semifinals. She has 200 blocks this season, a total which is second on NU's single-season list, while she also averaged 2.91 kills on a team-high .345 hitting. In addition to leading the Big 12 in blocks, she finished fifth in the league in hitting percentage and also averaged 0.75 digs per game. Elmer recorded 10-or-more blocks in a match on five occasions in 2004, including an 18-kill, 12-block effort at Oklahoma on Nov. 20, the match that clinched the outright Big 12 title.
A three-time selection at the regional level, Saleaumua earns her first national honor this fall after ranking second at Nebraska in both digs (3.74) and kills (3.09) per game. A first-team All-Big 12 selection, she was chosen as the league's co-Defensive Player-of-the-Year after helping the Huskers lead the nation in opponent hitting (.103) and topping the Big 12 with 17.42 digs per game. Saleaumua finished with 10 double-doubles, including a career-high 19 kills on .450 hitting with 11 digs at No. 10 Texas on Oct. 20.
The Huskers finished the 2004 season with a 30-2 record and were ranked No. 1 in the final AVCA regular-season poll. Nebraska returns all seven starters, including all three players who earned All-America honors, for the 2005 season.