Friday, December 24, 2010
Valparaiso sophomore libero Taylor Root (Jenison, Mich./Jenison) officially ended the 2010 volleyball campaign as the Division I leader in digs per set in the NCAA's final stat update of the season. Root's national-leading performance paced a number of individual and team efforts that ranked among the nation's best.
Root closed the year with 5.94 digs/set, easily outpacing Ball State's Alyssa Rio (5.86 digs/set) for the top spot nationally. The sophomore became the first player in Crusader volleyball history to lead the nation in a statistical category. In addition, she set new program and Horizon League single-season records with her 754 total digs. Root's production in the back row helped Valpo to the fourth spot nationally as a team with 18.82 digs/set, while four other Crusaders averaged at least two digs/set.
Freshman defensive specialist Ariel Cudney (LaPorte, Ind./LaPorte) also ended the 2010 season among the national leaders in service aces/set. Cudney ripped off 54 aces in her 100 sets of action, ranking ninth in the nation with 0.54 aces/set. The rookie's 54 total aces rank fifth on Valpo's single-season chart and also are a new Crusader freshman record.
As a team, the Crusaders finished tied for 29th in the nation in winning percentage, going 27-8 on the year for a .771 winning percentage. Offensively, Valpo finished 30th in assists/set (13.14) and 31st in kills/set (14.06), led by 10.48 assists/set from junior setter Jenny Pokorny (Geneva, Ill./Geneva) and 2.94 kills/set from junior outside hitter Katie Britton (Mishawaka, Ind./Marian), respectively.
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