Golden Eagle Quartet Land SAC All-Conference Volleyball Honors
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (November 14, 2012) - Freshman outside hitter Audrey Dearien and junior middle blocker Erin McIlroy was named to the first and second team, respectively, while junior outside hitter Staci Williamson and junior setter Kailey Bain garnered honorable mention nominations as the Sooner Athletic Conference announced the 2012 All-Conference volleyball awards selections.
Dearien, a native of Frisco, Texas, was the only Golden Eagle nominated to the first team as the freshman turned in an outstanding 2012 campaign which included team-highs in kills (438) and total attacks (1,183). Dearien netted double-digit kills in 25 of John Brown's 38 games and notched over 20 kills an impressive five times. She set a career-high in kills twice this season, netting 22 kills on Aug. 25 against Wiley (Texas) before equaling that feat on Sept. 8 versus Baker (Kan.).
In addition to her first team accolades and landing on the All-Tournament team, Dearien was a finalist for SAC Freshman of the Year.
Dearien finished the season ranked No. 38 in the nation in total kills while posting a 3.27 kills per set average and a .203 hitting percentage.
"These awards make it clear that Audrey was an incredibly strong player in the conference for us this season," said head coach Stacie Johnson. "Audrey is a strong player on both ends of the net and we're going to expect even bigger things from her in the future.
McIlroy's strong play in the middle gave the John Brown offense another dimension as the 2012 season progressed. Hailing from Garland, Texas, McIlroy gave the JBU offense a total of 286 kills, hitting at .278 percent. Nine times McIlroy finished in double-digit kills this past season, setting a season-high of 14 kills twice, first on Sept. 14 against Southwestern Assemblies of God (Texas) and again on Nov. 2 against Mid-America Christian (Okla.). Defensively, McIlroy blocked opposing hits 118 times, including 25 solo blocks. Her season-high output came on Sept. 8 in a Golden Eagle victory over Baker (Kan.).
"Erin was noted by the coaches as being a great force at the net," added Johnson. "She is very difficult for other teams to read, timing well her attack. Obviously her blocking abilities are incredible strong."
Williamson's aggressive service game helped her finish the season ranked No. 37 in the nation with 54 total service aces. The junior from Siloam Springs, Ark., also chipped in with 196 kills, hitting at a .186 percent clip. Williamson had over three service aces seven times this season, included a five-ace performance on Sept. 21 in a 3-1 loss against Our Lady of the Lake (Texas).
Bain, A Springdale, Ark. native, was one of two setters featured by the Golden Eagle rotation. Despite splitting time with teammate Aubrey Adams, Bain was able to complete the 2012 campaign with 808 total assists, setting a single-season career high. Bain set a single-game career high this season with 37 assists in a 3-1 non-conference win over Oklahoma Wesleyan on Oct. 10. The junior closed the season out averaging 6.08 assists per set.
"Staci and Kailey were incredible assets to our team this year," admitted Johnson. "Often times with honorable mentions, the players' stats might not be as strong as those on the first or second team, but there's no way the program could be successful without players like Staci and Kailey.
"Kailey's leadership and ability to develop camaraderie on the court is second to none. Had we not played a two-setter rotation, I'm convinced she is a first team player. Staci has stats in every column we could ask of her and is almost a utility player of sorts. I try to avoid that generic label but it couldn't be more true in Staci's case because she has the ability to be a force at whatever position we ask her to play. Whenever we struggled, Staci was the first person to step up and play that position with ease."
For a full list of All-Conference winners, please click here.