Doornbos Repeats; Grubb Joins All-Valley First Team
Ashley Grubb earned first team all-conference honors in her first season as a libero.
Ashley Grubb earned first team all-conference honors in her first season as a libero.

Nov. 23, 2005

Normal, Ill. - With her selection in 2005, senior outside hitter Laura Doornbos is only the 11th Illinois State volleyball player to be chosen as a First Team All-Missouri Valley Conference honoree more than once. She is joined on the first team by her classmate, senior libero Ashley Grubb. Three Redbirds earned second team honors: senior middle blocker Emily Kabbes, sophomore middle blocker Kari Staehlin and freshman setter Erin Lindsey, who made the all-freshman team, also released Wednesday.

A 6-footer from Bloomington who graduated from Olympia High School, Doornbos was a 2004 and 2005 first-team selection, a 2003 second-team choice and a 2002 Missouri Valley Conference All-Freshman team member.

Redbird coach Sharon Dingman believes Doornbos, whose 1,406 kills rank No. 6 in Redbird history and 124 service aces are No. 10 at Illinois State, belongs with those elite players who have made Illinois State's 853 all-time victories No. 10 in NCAA Division I volleyball history.

"Clearly, she is one of the best players ever at Illinois State," said Dingman, whose team opens the 2005 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament at 10 a.m. Friday against Bradley in Cedar Falls, Iowa. "The record book and honors show that. To be honored every year of your career as among the best in your class or the best in the conference by a conference with as many excellent players as the Missouri Valley speaks for itself. She's been competing at a high level ever since she arrived at Illinois State."

With her powerful attack swing and a devastating jump serve, Doornbos' honors and records aren't a surprise to Dingman, a 21-year veteran of college coaching--even though Doornbos has had to survive a bout with cancer to have a college career.

"When we recruited Laura, we anticipated that these things could happen," said Dingman. "It's really been fun to watch Laura develop into a dominating player."

Doornbos, who recently was awarded the Missouri Valley Conference Most Courageous Award, joins an elite list which began with All-American Julie Mueller Paska in 1983 and 1984, includes Illinois State Hall of Famers Chris Rehor Federico (1986, 1987 & 1988) and Kim Nelson Brown (1992 & 1993) and, most recently Jenny Kabbes Fuente (1999 & 2002), now a Redbird assistant coach.

Grubb's last position stop as a college player turned out to be her best. A starter at outside hitter, right-side hitter and an occasional back-up setter in her first three ISU seasons, the Jacksonville High School graduate moved to libero for her senior season and broke Redbird records for digs in a match (35 vs. Missouri State last week) and season (535 and counting). She also has been her team's inspirational leader, helping the Redbirds come from seven points or more behind to win four games, and to come back from its three worst game losses of the season not only to win the next game, but to win all three of those matches.

"Anybody who plays on a team can learn something from Ashley Grubb," said Dingman. "She was moved from position to position to position and never questioned, never complained. She is a living lesson of what it means to be a team player: accept your role and, in her words `be good at it.' Grubb is a great, great athlete who puts her team first."

A first-team all-conference choice in 2003, Kabbes' consistency includes at least 100 blocks and 250 kills in three straight years, which has vaulted her into ninth place on the Missouri Valley career block assist list (third at Illinois State) and fifth place on the Redbird career hitting percentage list. Her 1,151 career kills are No. 12 on the Redbird career list--just 16 behind her sister, Jenny Fuente. Kabbes, a Bloomington Central Catholic High School graduate also was a first-team Valley Scholar-Athlete announced this week.

"Em is such an intelligent player, it's really a pleasure to be her coach," said Dingman. "She causes problems for other teams because she has so many different shots, and she has blocked a lot of balls for us. Like Laura and Ashley, she has given a lot to this program in a lot of ways over the past four years."

Staehlin's bout with mononucleosis has kept her out of action since late October. ISU is just 4-4 since she went down. The Tinley Park, Ill., native and Andrew High School graduate was averaging 4.12 kills and 1.16 blocks per league game before her illness. Dingman doesn't complain about what might have been, but knows that Staehlin is a difference-maker on the court.

"Kari can do some special things on the court," said Dingman. "It's really a tribute to her that the coaches voted her all-conference even though she only played half the games."

Lindsey's 1,369 set assists rank No. 23 in NCAA Division I this season, No. 3 for a freshman in Valley history and No. 1 by a Redbird freshman setter by nearly 500 set assists. An all-around player, the freshman from St. Louis who graduated from Eureka High School also packs a .280 hitting percentage, leads her team in service aces and is No. 3 in digs.

"Erin's impact has been made," said Dingman. "She is a freshman starter who also competes in the honors program academically and takes a class schedule which includes two lab sciences. But this is just the start for her. She will be a special player in this conference because she is a quick learner who loves to watch film and study the game."

In the 12 seasons that the Valley has selected an all-freshman team, Lindsey is the 10th Illinois State player to make that team and the fourth in as many seasons, following Doornbos (2002), Savannah Knowles (2003) and Staehlin (2004).

The Valley's individual awards--Player of the Year, Libero of the Year, Coach of the Year and Freshman of the Year--will be announced at Thursday's State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Banquet in Cedar Falls.

MVC All-Conference First Team ________________________________________ Sabrina Apker, Missouri State * Laura Doornbos, Illinois State * Stephanie Germann, UNI Ashley Grubb, Illinois State Andee Hartig, Wichita State Elizabeth Meyers, Wichita State ^ Leah Ratzlaff, Creighton * Jen Ray, Wichita State * Lindsay Stalzer, Bradley * ^ Darci Vohs, Wichita State * Ashley Warren, Missouri State * Katie Werges, Missouri State Johannah Yutzy, Southern Illinois

MVC All-Conference Second Team ________________________________________ Danielle Brazda, UNI Amber DeBroux, Bradley Kelly Goc, Creighton Lacy Haller, Evansville Emily Kabbes, Illinois State ^ Katie Kreimer, Missouri State Erin Lindsey, Illinois State Sara Lungren, Wichita State Cori Meyer, Wichita State Kari Staehlin, Illinois State Megan Veltman, Drake

* 2004 First Team ^ 2003 First Team

MVC All-Freshman Team ________________________________________ Kristy Elswick, Southern Illinois Jessica Houts, Creighton Angela Jakubov, Wichita State Korie Lebeda, Creighton Erin Lindsey, Illinois State Ashten Stelken, UNI