Six Valparaiso University volleyball players were named to various Mid-Con All-Conference teams, and seniors Liz Mikos (Dundee, Ill./Jacobs) and Katie Bova (Milwaukee, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels) were honored individually by the league at their annual awards banquet Friday night in Valparaiso, Ind.
Mikos, who holds every one of Valpo's career and single-season blocking records was named the league's co-Defensive Player of the Year, an honor she shared with Western Illinois' Jennifer Alexander. This season, Mikos leads the Crusaders and is second in the conference with 139 blocks.
Bova, the 2004 Mid-Con Setter of the Year, again earned Setter of the Year honors this season. The senior is averaging one assist more than the next highest player in the league, and ranks in the Mid-Con's top 10 in hitting percentage, service aces and digs.
Bova was also named to the All-Conference First Team for the second consecutive season, joining sophomore teammate Amy Palash (Winfield, Ill./Saint Francis). Palash, who was a member of the 2004 All-Freshman Team, was fourth in the Mid-Con and led the Crusaders with 3.46 kills/game while hitting .213. Also a strong defensive player, Palash recorded 15 double-doubles (kills and digs) this season.
Aside from her co-Defensive Player of the Year award, Mikos landed on the All-Conference Second Team for the second straight season, after earning First Team All-Conference honors as a sophomore. Joining Mikos on the Second Team are 2004 Mid-Con Player of the Year Lauren Moulton (Elgin, Ill./Larkin) and junior Jessie Fox (Granger, Ind../Penn). Moulton's selection is the third of her distinguished career, while Fox lands on the Second Team for the second year in a row. Fox is averaging 2.55 kills/game and 1.22 blocks/game this season, while Moulton has hit .276, averaging 2.82 kills/game and 0.93 blocks/game.
For the second straight year, a Crusader was also named to the conference's All-Freshman Team, with Brittany Marks (Elkhart, Ind./Memorial) taking home the honor this season. The Valpo libero, Marks took over as the starter midway through the season, and is second on the Crusaders with a 3.71 digs/game average.
Western Illinois' Sarah Trimpe was honored as the league's outstanding freshman this season, and her coach, Kym McKay, was named Coach of the Year. Oral Roberts' Ori Zuzic was named Player of the Year.
The 2005 Mid-Continent Conference Volleyball Tournament begins Saturday night at the Athletics-Recreation Center. The semifinals match second-seeded Oral Roberts against third-seeded Western Illinois at 5:00 p.m. The top-seeded Crusader begin their run at a third-straight tournament championship at 7:30 p.m. against fourth-seeded IUPUI. The two winners will meet Sunday at 2:00 p.m. to decide which club will earn the Mid-Con's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.