Fawcett AVCA Player of the Year

OMAHA, Neb. (December 19, 2008) - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) is proud to announce that Penn State University senior Nicole Fawcett was selected as the 2008 AVCA Division I National Player of the Year. The award was presented tonight at the AVCA All-America/Players of the Year Banquet Omaha, Neb., as part of the 2008 AVCA Annual Convention.

"Thank you so much to the AVCA for this honor," remarked Fawcett. "Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I would receive this award. With the caliber of athletes here, this is the best compliment I could ever receive. I know this is truly Penn State's honor. Every day we come and work hard, and we are a family."

Fawcett is an all-around weapon for the Nittany Lions. The 6-4 outside hitter led the Big Ten in service aces (39) and ranks fifth in the league and 16th nationally with a .372 hitting percentage, in addition to averaging 1.79 digs and 4.55 points per match. Currently, she stands second all-time in Penn State lore in kills, blasting 1,933 bombs during her career. Fawcett, in her senior season, has guided PSU to an unblemished 37-0 mark and its unprecedented sixth consecutive Big Ten championship with a 20-0 league record.

The Zanesfield, Ohio native is a four-time AVCA All-American, having earned First-Team honors in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and Second-Team accolades in 2005. She garnered Big Ten Player of the Year laurels in 2008, marking the fourth-consecutive season a PSU athlete has earned the award. In addition, she is among only nine athletes in conference history to receive unanimous First-Team All-Conference honors all four years of her career.

During Fawcett's time in Happy Valley, Penn State has amassed an incredible 134-8 record. The Nittany Lions have earned two trips to the NCAA semifinals, advancing to the final on both occasions, and captured the NCAA Division I National Championship last season (2007) in their most recent appearance. This year, Fawcett was a part of a PSU squad that became the first Division I women's team in history to finish the regular season without losing a set. Penn State also established new NCAA records for consecutive matches and consecutive sets won.

Fawcett and the Nittany Lions return to the NCAA title match Saturday, where she and her teammates will face-off against Stanford University for a shot at hoisting the championship trophy for the second-straight year. The match will take place in the Qwest Center Omaha and set for a 7 p.m. CST start.


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