Four Redbirds Earn All-Valley Honors
Nov. 22, 2012
SPRINGFIELD, Mo - The Illinois State women's volleyball team had four players earn All-Valley honors at the 2012 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Thursday afternoon. Ashley Rosch received the Freshman of the Year Award and was named to the All-Conference First-Team and the All-Freshman Team. Jenny Menendez was named the Libero of the Year and selected as an All-Conference First-Team honoree. LeighAnn Hranka earned Second-Team All-Conference honors and Brooklyn Hlafka was selected as a Scholar-Athlete honorable mention.
Rosch is only the sixth player in Valley history to be named first-team all-conference selection as a freshman. She is also just the second Redbird to earn first-team honors since Kendra Haselhorst, in 1997. Rosch is a three-time MVC Freshman of the Week honoree and currently ranks first on the team in kills (316), kills per set (3.10) and points (366.5). She ranks second on the team in digs (304) and has led ISU in kills in 15 matches this season. Rosch is the only freshman that ranks in the top-10 in the Valley in kills and has recorded 18 double-digit kill performances in her first season as a Redbird. She is the fifth ISU freshman to earn this award.
Menendez has controlled the backcourt for the Redbirds all season and has recorded double-digit digs in all but one match this season. She most recently recorded a career-high 40 digs against Southern Illinois (Nov. 16) and was named the MVC Defensive Player of the Week (Nov. 5). She ranks second all-time in ISU history in digs per set with 4.17 and ranks first on the team in digs (569) and digs per set (5.52). Menendez is the second Redbird libero to be named Libero of the Year and has led the ISU team in digs for three-straight seasons.
Hranka was named to the all-conference second team, after her performance as a force at the net this season. She ranks third in the Valley in blocks (103) and third on the team in kills (215) and kills per set (2.09). Hranka also ranks second on the team in service aces and is in the top-20 in the Valley in hitting percentage (.251). She has led the team in solo blocks in 10 matches and has posted five or more blocks in 13 matches.
Hlafka was honored as a Scholar-Athlete honorable mention selection and was the only Redbird recognized as a scholar-athlete. She ranks second on the team in kills (246) and kills per set (2.51) and third in blocks (73). She has led ISU in kills in four matches this season and posted double-digit kills in eight matches. As a speech-language pathology major, Hlafka holds a 3.63 cumulative grade-point average (GPA) and is a member of the AFNI honor roll.
Illinois State will face Southern Illinois in the first round of the 2012 MVC Conference Tournament, Nov. 22 at 5 p.m., in Springfield, Mo.
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