For the second straight season, Valparaiso had a pair of players honored by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) as the organization released its all-region teams on Tuesday. Junior libero Taylor Root (Jenison, Mich./Jenison) earned All-Midwest Region accolades for the second straight year, while senior setter Jenny Pokorny (Geneva, Ill./Geneva) was named an Honorable Mention All-Midwest Region recipient for the second time.
With her second All-Region nod, Root is the fifth Valpo All-Region honoree in the last seven years, joining Angie Porché, a two-time honoree in 2007 and 2008, and fellow libero Brittany Malicoat, who received the honor in 2008. Root, one of only ten liberos nationwide to receive All-Region commendation and one of only three to earn the accolade for a second time, is now eligible for All-America honors, to be announced by the AVCA next Wednesday, Dec. 14.
Root, who currently ranks 17th in the nation with her average of 5.46 digs/set, moved up into third place on Valpo’s single-season digs chart with 677 digs in 2011, giving her two of the top-three single-season efforts in program history. Already the Horizon League’s career digs leader, Root will enter her senior year just 292 digs shy of the Crusader career record in the category, having tallied 2,017 digs through her first three seasons. She also enjoyed the best season of her career on serve receive in 2011, committing just 19 service reception errors in 35 matches.
Pokorny closed out her career with 2,934 assists, fifth-most in Valpo history, and also broke the 1,000-dig milestone in the final match of her career, ending with 1,009 digs. She also posted 433 career kills, 167 blocks and 71 service aces. In 2011, the senior setter led the Crusaders with 1,202 assists, tied for second on the team in hitting percentage (.253) and digs (382) and ranked third on the team in blocks (63).