Four Illinois athletes named Academic All-District

Johannah Bangert and Laura DeBruler were each named First Team Academic All-District
Johannah Bangert and Laura DeBruler were each named First Team Academic All-District

Nov. 5, 2009

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The 2009 CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District Teams were announced for football and women's volleyball on Thursday and four Illinois athletes earned distinction in District 5. Senior offensive lineman Jon Asamoah from football and junior middle blocker Johannah Bangert and junior outside hitter Laura DeBruler from volleyball all earned First Team All-District distinction and will advance to Academic All-American consideration. Junior setter Hillary Haen was a second team honoree.

District Five includes Division I universities in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba. In order to be considered, athletes must be in their second year academically at the school, have a minimum 3.30 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale and be a starter or regular contributor. CoSIDA members serving schools in each district vote on the winners. District winners then advance to Academic All-America consideration.

• Asamoah was named Preseason Second-Team All-Big Ten by both Lindy's and Phil Steele's publications. The 2008 Honorable Mention All-American has started 32 consecutive games and part of an offensive line that has led the Big Ten in rushing in 2007 and passing in 2008. The Illini surpassed the 5,000-yard total offensive mark both seasons. Asamoah is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and earns Academic All-District honors for the second consecutive season. He is majoring in community health

• Bangert led the nation in blocks in 2008 and is currently third nationally and first in the Big Ten this season in that category. She has been named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week twice this year and four times in her career. Bangert tied a single-match block assists record with 13 vs. both Purdue and Wisconsin, tallying 14 total blocks vs. the Badgers. The two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree is majoring in secondary education/mathematics

• DeBruler earned Second Team All-America honors in 2008 and continues as one of the leading hitters in the country. Currently she ranks second in the Big Ten and 17th nationally in kills (4.44 kps) and second in the conference and 21st nationally in points (4.93 pps). DeBruler is just three kills shy of 1,500 for her career, which places her sixth on the Illinois all-time kills list. She has a school-record 32 matches with at least 20 kills and has been named to four all-tournament teams in 2009, including being named MVP of two of them. She was named Big Ten Player of the Week following her MVP performance at the State Farm Illini Classic. The Academic All-Big Ten performer is majoring in kinesiology.

• Haen has engineered an Illinois offense that is hitting .249 for the season and ranks 12th in the nation and second in the Big Ten in assists (11.44 aps). She was named to the All-Tournament Team at the State Farm Illini Classic after totaling 126 assists and engineering an Illinois attack that hit .409, .330 and .252, respectively, in those three matches and to the All-Tournament team at the Active Ankle Challenge after totaling 79 assists in victories over Louisville and Ohio. Haen is majoring in accountancy.