Crusader junior outside hitter Angie Porché (Lynwood, Ill./Thornton Fractional South) earned American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-Midwest Region honors for the second consecutive year, while senior libero Brittany Malicoat (Elkhart, Ind./Memorial) received All-Region accolades for the first time as the AVCA announced its All-Region squads Wednesday. In addition, junior setter Kim Bukowski (Waukesha, Wis./West) was named an Honorable Mention All-Region recipient.
All three will now be eligible for AVCA All-American honors, which will be announced within the next two weeks. Malicoat and Porché were the only Horizon League representatives on the 14-player All-Midwest Region squad, while Bukowski was joined by Cleveland State’s Amy Benz and Milwaukee’s Lauren Felsing among the eight Honorable Mention selections.
Malicoat was named Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year for a second straight season after finishing second in the league and 13th in the nation with 5.22 digs/set. Her 621 total digs on the season were third-most in a single year in Crusader history and she closed her career with a school-record 2,306 digs, among the top-20 in the category in NCAA history. The senior posted double digits in digs in 31 of Valpo’s 32 matches, including at least 20 digs of 14 occasions, and received All-Tournament honors at Notre Dame’s Shamrock Invitational and Indiana’s adidas Classic.
“I am very excited that Brittany could close out her career on the All-Region team,” said Crusader head coach Carin Avery. “Being the lone libero to make the Midwest Region team is a great accomplishment and speaks volumes about how much of a presence she was in the back row for us.”
Porché earned All-Region accolades for the second straight season after being named the Horizon League Player of the Year. Porché paced the Horizon League and ranked seventh in the nation with 4.61 kills/set on the season, finishing the 2008 campaign with 553 kills, third-most in a single year in Valpo history. She also broke Crusader career records for both kills and attacks midway through the season and now has 1,617 career kills. The MVP of Notre Dame’s Shamrock Invitational, Porché also earned All-Tournament accolades at Indiana’s adidas Classic. She has reached double figures in digs in 54 straight matches, including all 31 she appeared in this year, and posted 20 double-doubles on the season.
“To make the All-Region team two years in a row is a very special achievement for Angie,” said Avery. “She is very deserving of this honor, as even after the great season she had last year, Angie worked extremely hard and improved into a better all-around player for us this year.”
Bukowski was named to the All-Horizon League squad after quarterbacking the Crusader offense to the top spot in the nation as a team in both kills/set and assists/set. The junior averaged 11.68 assists/set on the season, good for seventh as an individual nationally and best in the league by better than a full assist per set, while her season total of 1,355 assists was sixth-most in a single year in Crusader history. The two-time Horizon League Offensive Player of the Week reached double figures in assists in all 31 of her matches, including at least 30 on 29 occasions, and posted eight double-doubles on the season.
“I truly thought that Kim had a fabulous season setting the ball for us,” said Avery. “She is a great location setter, and there’s no way that we would have been atop the nation in kills this year without her running the offense. I am very glad to see her get recognized by others for her ability.”