Five Huskers Named AVCA All-Central Region

Five University of Nebraska volleyball players were honored Tuesday, as they were selected to the AVCA All-Central Region team. The honorees included first-team selections Melissa Elmer, Jennifer Saleaumua, Sarah Pavan and Christina Houghtelling, while Jordan Larson was named Central Region Freshman of the Year and an honorable-mention all-region pick.

It is the fourth honor for both Melissa Elmer and Jennifer Saleaumua and the second for Sarah Pavan, last season's AVCA National Freshman of the Year. Christina Houghtelling and Jordan Larson were both selected for the first time and will now advance to the national ballot for All-America consideration. Nebraska was the only school with four first-team selection on the Central Region squad, which is chosen from Big 12, Missouri Valley and Southland Conference schools. Texas and Missouri both had three first-team selections.

It marks the third time a Husker has been chosen Regional Freshman of the Year, as Greichaly Cepero was tabbed for the honor in 1999. The Big 12 Freshman of the Year, Larson topped all Big 12 rookies in kills (2.96), hitting percentage (.292), digs (2.68) and service aces (0.39). Larson has five double-doubles, including three against top-10 teams,

A four-time selection and two-time All-American, Elmer leads the nation in blocking at 2.17 blocks per game and ranks ninth nationally with a .405 hitting percentage. She holds school and Big 12 records for blocks in a season (223) and career (740) and has had at least 10 blocks nine times this season.

Saleaumua earns her fourth first-team selection, as she averages 2.23 kills and 3.87 digs per game, while hitting .286. The senior, who earned second-team All-America honors in 2004, leads all Big 12 outside hitters in digs and is one of only two players in school history to record both 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs.

The Big 12 Player of the Year, Pavan repeats as a first-team selection, as she enters this weekend's regional averaging 3.76 kills, 1.67 digs, 1.25 blocks and 0.33 aces per game. A first-team All-American in 2004, she ranks among the league leaders in hitting percentage (.352, eighth), kills (eighth), blocks (ninth), aces (11th) and points per game (4.75, fifth).

Houghtelling rounds out the first-team picks, as she enters this weekend's action averaging 3.66 kills, 2.49 digs and 1.00 blocks per game, ranking among the Big 12 leaders in hitting percentage (.368, fifth) and kills (3.66, 10th). She has led Nebraska in kills 12 times and has hit over .400 in 17 of NU's 31 matches, including eight of the Huskers' last 10 contests.

2005 AVCA Division I All-Region Teams

Central Region

Leticia Armstrong University of Texas MB So.
Melissa Elmer *** University of Nebraska MB Sr.
Allie Griffin ** University of Colorado RS/Opp Sr.
Christina Houghtelling University of Nebraska OH Jr.
Lindsey Hunter ** University of Missouri S Sr.
Laura Jones *** Texas A&M University OH Sr.
Brandy Magee University of Texas MB Jr.
Michelle Moriarty University of Texas S So.
Sarah Pavan ** University of Nebraska RS/Opp So.
Jennifer Saleaumua*** University of Nebraska OH Sr.
Jessica Vander Kooi University of Missouri OH Jr.
Nicole Wilson University of Missouri MB Jr.

Region Freshman of the Year: Jordan Larson, Nebraska, OH

Honorable Mention: Stephanie Figgers (Stephen F. Austin, DS/Lib, Jr.), Jordan Larson (Nebraska, OH, Fr.), Elizabeth Meyers (Wichita State, MB, Sr.), Ashley Nu'u (Colorado, S, Jr.), Darci Vohs (Wichita State, RS/Opp, Sr.), Ashley Warren (Missouri State, S, Sr.)


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