Houghtelling ranks among the Big 12 leaders in hitting percentage and kills per game. She attacks at a .377 percentage with averages of 3.70 kills, 2.46 digs and 1.00 blocks per game. Houghtelling has hit .400 or better in 19 of 34 matches and was named MVP of the AVCA/NACWAA College Volleyball Showcase and the NCAA Omaha Regional. She has led the team in kills 13 times this season, including a career-high 20 kills against Oklahoma, and has recorded five double-doubles in 2005.
One of three co-captains, Houghtelling has helped lead Nebraska to a 33-1 overall record, the Big 12 championship and the NCAA title match against Washington on Saturday. Nebraska has been the No. 1 team in the CSTV/AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll all season and is attempting to become the third team in the poll's history to lead wire-to-wire.
She is the third Husker to earn AVCA Player-of-the-Year honors, joining Greichaly Cepero (2000) and Allison Weston (1995)
"It really is a great honor," Houghtelling said. "I really wasn't paying attention, but I wanted to hear who they said. When I heard Christina, I said ‘there is no way' and when they said Houghtelling, I said ‘no, this is not happening.' I would have never really expected this to happen in my life. It is a really great honor, and I am excited, but our main focus is on the team and helping us win a national championship, and that is what I want to do."
Houghtelling, an elementary education major with a 3.90 grade-point average, was named to the 2005 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America First Team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America. She is a two-time academic All-Big 12 selection.
Houghtelling competed on the USA Volleyball A-2 National Team this past summer. She traveled to Switzerland and competed in the Montreux VolleyMasters Tournament while competing for the A-2 team.
Previous AVCA Division I National Players of the Year:
2005: Christina Houghtelling (Nebraska)
2004: Stacey Gordon (Ohio State); Ogonna Nnamani (Stanford)
2003: Kim Willoughby (Hawaii)
2002: Logan Tom (Stanford)
2001: Logan Tom (Stanford)
2000: Greichaly Cepero (Nebraska)
1999: Lauren Cacciamani (Penn State); Kerri Walsh (Stanford)
1998: Misty May (Long Beach State)
1997: Misty May (Long Beach State)
1996: Angelica Ljungquist (Hawaii )
1995: Cary Wendell (Stanford); Allison Weston (Nebraska)
1994: Laura Davis (Ohio State)
1993: Danielle Scott (Long Beach State)
1992: Natalie Williams (UCLA)
1991: Antoinnette White (Long Beach State)
1990: Bev Oden (Stanford)
1989: Tara Cross (Long Beach State); Teee Williams (Hawai'i)
1988: Tara Cross (Long Beach State)
1987: Teee Williams (Hawaii)
1986: Mariliisa Salmi (BYU)
1985: Kim Oden (Stanford)