Dec. 10, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Postseason praise continues to pour in for members of the Northwestern Wildcats as the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) unveiled its 2013 Division I All-Region Teams on Tuesday, December 10.
Senior outside hitter Stephanie Holthus was named to the AVCA All-North Region team and freshman setter Caleigh Ryan garnered honorable mention in the talented North Region. This marks the second year in a row that Holthus has been recognized by the AVCA on the All-Region Team after she picked up an honorable mention as a sophomore in 2011. It is the first AVCA recognition for Ryan.
Holthus, who also earned an All-Big Ten nod in 2013, led the Wildcats and ranked fourth in the Big Ten (through Dec. 8) with 4.06 kills per set. She also led the Purple and White and ranked sixth in the conference with 4.44 points per set. The Elgin, Ill., native sent down a career-high 503 kills this past season, notching 20-or-more kills on seven occasions. Holthus also led the squad with 18 double-double performances.
Holthus turned in several memorable efforts in 2013, including during the Wildcat Classic at Welsh-Ryan Arena in September. En route to earning tournament MVP honors, she averaged 6.18 kills per set and 4.13 digs per set in wins against South Florida, Miami (OH) and IUPUI. She notched a career-high 24 digs to go along with 27 kills against the Bulls in the afternoon on Sept. 20 and followed that performance by breaking the program record for kills in a three-set match with 24 in the nightcap against the RedHawks. Holthus was named the Big Ten Player of the Week and the Sports Imports/AVCA Division I National Player of the Week after those dominant performances.
Holthus finished her collegiate career as one of the most decorated student-athletes in program history. The Elgin, Ill., native is Northwestern's all-time leader in kills with 1,797 and she ranks sixth in program annals with 1,347 digs. Her 3.77 kills per set rank first in NU history. She started all 127 matches of her career for the Wildcats, including 32 this fall.
Ryan took over as the primary setter for the 'Cats in the second match of the season and didn't look back. The Glen Ellyn, Ill., native led the Big Ten and ranked 23rd in the NCAA with 11.23 assists per set (through Dec. 8). No freshman in the entire country averaged more assists per set than NU's Ryan. Her 1,314 assists on the season were the sixth-most in a single season for a Northwestern player. Ryan also ranked second on the team with 11 double-doubles and placed fourth amongst the Wildcats with 257 digs in her first collegiate campaign.
Ryan was named the Big Ten Setter and Freshman of the Week on Sept. 23 following an outstanding effort at the Wildcat Classic. Ryan handed out 13.55 assists per set and helped her hitters notch an overall mark of .309 for the three-day tournament. The newcomer was also named the conference's Freshman of the Week on Oct. 14 after handing out a career-high 67 helpers in a thrilling five-set victory over No. 20 Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind.
Five Wildcats under head coach Keylor Chan have earned AVCA All-Region honors. Holthus (2012-13) joins Sabel Moffett (2009-10) as the only two-time winners. Naomi Johnson (2010), Kate Nobilio (2009) and Erika Lange (2002) were also named All-Mideast Region. Ryan joins Holthus (2011) and Chelsy Hyser (2007) as recipients of an honorable mention.
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