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Volleyball Announces Team Awards

Volleyball Announces Team Awards

Jan. 31, 2006

Banquet Photo Gallery

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – University of Miami volleyball head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch announced the team awards for the 2005 season. Among the awards were the Most Valuable Player, the Academic Award, Most Improved, Most Inspirational, Unsung Hero and the 100% Award.

Most Valuable Player and 100% Award
Senior outside hitter Karla Johnson garnered Most Valuable Player honors as well as the 100% Award. The 100% Award, voted on by teammates and coaches, is given to the player who exemplifies a dedication of 100% day in and day out. She also received the award in 2004.

During the 2005 season, the former middle blocker became Miami’s most prolific outside hitter, setting the career kills mark (1,484) while also setting the record for kills in a season (616) and kills in a match (31). Johnson ended her career at Miami as the all-time leader in total blocks, block assists and solo blocks.

Throughout the season the Houston native led the Atlantic Coast Conference and was among the best in the nation in kills per game. She finished the season with a 5.09 kills per game average. Johnson also led the team in service aces (40), solo blocks (27) and points (711.5). She likewise made her mark defensively, tallying 2.75 digs per game.

As a result of her stellar season, Johnson was selected as an AVCA All-American Honorable Mention All-American and an AVCA All-East Region selection. A Preseason All-ACC selection, Johnson earned All-ACC first team honors.

Academic Award
Sophomore outside hitter Michelle Bruin received the Academic Award. The award goes to the player with the highest GPA over the course of two semesters during the season. Bruin was named to the 2005 COSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) Academic All-District 3 Second Team on Nov. 16. The Chapel Hill, N.C. native, currently holds a 4.00 grade point average and is majoring in sports administration.

She played in all of Miami’s 30 matches while starting in 15. Considered one of the best passers on the team, Bruin tallied 204 digs for a 1.84 digs per game average this season. On Oct. 2, in a match against Georgia Tech, Bruin tallied a career-high 19 digs. In 2005, she recorded career-highs in attack percentage, kills, assists, service aces and digs.

Bruin has been named to the President’s Honor Roll, Provost’s Honor Roll, Dean’s List and Athletic Director’s Honor Roll. She was also named to the 2004-05 ACC Academic Honor Roll.

Most Improved Player
Middle blocker Angelica Ellis garnered Most Improved Player honors after becoming one of Miami’s best blockers as a true freshman. The award, selected by teammates and coaches, is given to the player how has made the biggest improvement throughout the course of the season.

Ellis emerged late in the season to become a great compliment to redshirt sophomore middle blocker Ciara Michel. She worked her way into the starting line-up, starting in 13 of her 23 appearances.

The Houston, Texas native played in 66 games and posted 71 total blocks (13 block solos, 58 block assists). Ellis tallied 1.08 blocks be game–second-best on the team. She also tied Michel’s record for solo blocks in a match with five against Virginia Tech on Nov. 11.

Most Inspirational
Senior Defensive Specialist Kaitlin Kozak received the Most Inspirational Award. The award, selected by teammates, is given to the player who inspires teammates to be the best players and people they can be.

Kozak, a 2005 co-captain, closed her career as arguably one of Miami’s best servers. She is ranked sixth all-time with 86 matches played and eighth with 249 games played. She has also contributed defensively throughout her career as indicated by her 276 career digs, which ranks her 10th all-time.

A Huntingdon, Pa. native, Kozak holds the season record for service percentage (.982) and is second all-time with a .960 career serving percentage. She is eighth all-time with 39 career service aces.

In 2005, dropped in a career-high 25 service aces as well as 146 digs. In Miami’s five-game upset over North Carolina, Kozak registered a personal-best four service aces.

Unsung Hero
Junior libero Ann Gallo earned the Unsung Hero award. The award, as voted on by teammates and coaches, is given to the player who demonstrated a hard work ethic but went more unnoticed in terms of recognition on the team.

Defensively, Gallo led the Hurricanes with 3.78 digs per game. She also chipped in the second highest total for service aces with 31.

The Wheaton, Ill. native played in all of Miami’s 30 matches, including 120 games. Gallo tallied a career-high 453 total digs for the season. On Nov. 20 against NC State, Gallo recorded a career-best 24 digs. She also dropped in a personal-best three service aces on five occasions, most recently on Nov. 15 against Florida State.

Also Recognized…
Redshirt junior middle blocker Francheska Savage and junior setter Jill Robinson were also honored for their impressive and record-breaking performances this season.

Savage emerged as one of Miami’s go-to hitters and one of the most explosive attackers in the ACC. She put up solid numbers during the 2005 campaign, posting the second most kills in a season by a Hurricane, 483, and leading the team with a .307 attacking percentage.

Savage’s 3.99 kills per game ranked seventh in the ACC while her attacking percentage ranked her eighth.

The game that really showcased Savage’s quick-strike ability was the fifth game in UM’s comeback win over North Carolina. In that game Savage went a perfect 5-for-5, accounted for seven points and fittingly scored the match-clinching point.

Savage was honored as an AVCA Honorable Mention All-American and AVCA All-East Region selection. She was also named to the All-ACC Second-Team.

Robinson continued to shine as Miami’s starting setter. In 2005, Robinson, one of Miami’s most productive players, continued to add to her legacy. Surpassing the 3,000 career milestone, she now holds the record for career assists, 3, 715, and assists in a season with 1, 507 in 2005.

Robinson’s 12.45 assists per game ranked her fourth in the ACC. She was also third on the team with 2.63 digs per game and fourth with 26 service aces.

2005 Team Honors:
MVP: Karla Johnson
100% Award: Karla Johnson
Academic Award: Michelle Bruin
Most Improved: Angelica Ellis
Most Inspirational: Kaitlin Kozak
Unsung Hero: Ann Gallo

Also Recognized:

Karla Johnson for setting career records in kills and blocks.Jill Robinson for reaching the 3000 assist club.Francheska Savage and Karla Johnson for receiving All-ACC, All-East Region and Honorable Mention All-American honors.