Two Huskers Named Honda Sports Award Finalist

Two members of Nebraska's NCAA runner-up volleyball team were honored on Wednesday, as Christina Houghtelling and Melissa Elmer were announced as two of the four nominees for the Honda Sports Award for Volleyball.

The award, which is determined by a nationwide panel, will be announced later this month and the winner will become a nominee for The Honda-Broderick Cup awarded annually to the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year.

Christina Houghtelling was the 2005 AVCA National Player of the Year, averaging 3.69 kills, 2.49 digs and 1.03 blocks per game this season for the national runner-up Huskers. She ranked among the Big 12 leaders in kills (3.69, 10th) and hitting percentage (.375, fifth) while also posting six double-doubles for the Huskers, who went 33-2 and earned the school's third national runner-up finish. Houghtelling led NU in kills in 13 matches and hit .400 or better 19 times this season. A first-team All-Big 12 selection, she earned first-team All-America honors in 2005 and was the MVP of both the AVCA/NACWAA College Volleyball Showcase and the NCAA Omaha Regional. In the classroom, Houghtelling carries a 3.90 GPA in elementary education and was a first-team Academic All-American in 2005.

Melissa Elmer has been one of the nation's dominant forces for NU, which led the nation in blocking in 2005. A three-time All-American, Elmer led the nation with 2.17 blocks per game in 2005, becoming the first player to repeat as national blocking champion. A three-time All-Big 12 pick, Elmer finished as Nebraska's school record holder for both single-season (250) and career (767) blocks, setting Big 12 records in both categories. She was one of only three players in school history to record 1,000 kills and 600 bocks in their career and also ranked second in the Big 12 with a .383 hitting percentage. She was selected as the MVP for the InfoUSA Player's Challenge and the Sports Imports Classic, while also being selected to the AVCA/NACWAA Showcase All-Tournament Team. She had four double-doubles, and has recorded 10-or-more blocks 10 times, including a Big 12 record 16 blocks against Kansas on Oct. 8. Elmer received her degree in marketing in December and is currently playing professionally in Puerto Rico.

The two are joined by Washington's Courtney Thompson and Penn State's Sam Tortorello. American Honda will donate $1,000 to the women's athletic fund of each nominee's university, while the winner's program will earn $5,000.

Nebraska had had three Honda-Broderick Award winners in volleyball, Greichaly Cepero (2000), Allison Weston (1995) and Karen Dahlgren (1986).

2005-2006 Volleyball Honda Sports Award Nominees
Melissa Elmer University of Nebraska
Christina Houghtelling University of Nebraska
Courtney Thompson University of Washington
Sam Tortorello Penn State University


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