This is Birks' second weekly honor in the past three weeks
Laura DeBruler joins the Illini coaching staff this year, serving as a volunteer assistant. In addition to the input in practices and competition, DeBruler also helps in video and statistical breakdown.
DeBruler ended her career as the all-time Illinois career leader in kills with 1,833. She also ranks first in career attacks (4,806) and eighth in career digs (1,117).
One of the most celebrated players in Illinois history, DeBruler was a major player in the resurgence of Illinois volleyball to the national scene. She was part of the sixth-ranked national recruiting class and had arguably the best debut in Illinois history when she tallied 28 kills, 11 digs and a .323 hitting percentage vs. Bowling Green. That year she tallied 577 kills, the third most in single season in school history.
As a sophomore, DeBruler ranked sixth in the country in kills per set at 4.66 and was named AVCA and CVU.com National Player of the Week after posting 65 kills at the State Farm Illini Classic. DeBruler was an All-Mideast Region selection, a unanimous choice for All-Big Ten and a second-team AVCA All-American.
DeBruler established herself as one of the best players in the country in 2009 as a junior, earning first-team All-America and ranking second in the Big Ten in kills per set (4.46). She set Illinois' all-time record for 20-kill matches with her 30th of her career vs. Michigan St. and finished with 36.
DeBruler was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, earned eight Big Ten Player of the Week honors, nine all-tournament selections, two tournament MVPs and was a finalist for the LOWE's Senior Class Award. She was also a part of three straight NCAA Sweet 16 teams.
After graduation, DeBruler played for the NUC Volleyball Club in Nuchatel, Switzerland, winning MVP of the match against Kanti Schaffhausen. She competed in the National A League, which is the highest in Switzerland. as well as the CEV Cup against other European teams.
Named Academic All-Big Ten
Named Lowe's Senior CLASS First Team for volleyball
Set Illinois' all-time career kills record at Wisconsin, now at 1,833 for her career
That night DeBruler had 26 kills and 15 digs in a four-set victory over Wisconsin
Named Big Ten Player of the Week (her eighth of her career) after the performance against Wisconsin and 21 kills and career-best 28 digs vs. Northwestern
Named to the All-Tournament Team at the State Farm Illini Classic after tallying 51 kills and 37 digs
Had 10 kills in the first set alone in three-set victory over No. 2 Texas and finished the match with 17 kills
Ranks first on Illinois' all-time career total attacks list (4,806)
Ranks seventh on Illinois' all-time career digs list (1,117)
Unanimous choice for Preseason All-Big Ten
Missed two weeks with mononucleosis
Returned for home match with Penn State on Sept. 24 and had two big kills in the fifth and deciding set, giving Illinois leads of 15-14 and 16-15 before the Illini won 17-15.
Ranks third in the Big Ten in kills per set (4.02) and third in the league in conference only matches (3.80)
Suffered a torn ACL making her 1,833rd kill of her career vs. Michigan and missed the remainder of the season
First Team All-America
First Team All-Region
All-Big Ten Academic All-District
Academic All-Big Ten
Ranked eighth in the NCAA Tournament in points through two rounds (5.36 per set) and hit .435 with 33 kills in this year's NCAA Tournament
Was twice been named Big Ten Player of the Week
Was named to four All-Tournament teams, including being named MVP of two of them -- the State Farm Illini Classic and the Bluejay Invitational
Ranked second in the Big Ten and 15th in the nation in kills (4.46 kps) and second in the conference and 14th in the nation in points (4.96 pps)
Ranks fifth on Illinois' all-time kills list (1,668) and ninth on the all-time digs list (978)
Hit .419 with 63 kills (6.3 kps) in earning MVP of the Illini Classic. DeBruler also earned tournament MVP in 2008
Hit .361 with 28 kills vs. Saint Louis. That was three off her career high of 31 and five off the tournament record of 33 Had 16 kills while hitting .517 in the `Stuff Huff' match victory over Cincinnati
Hit .478 with 12 kills vs. Ohio
Hit .424 with 18 kills vs. Wisconsin
Set Illinois' all-time record for 20-kill matches with her 30th of her career after tallying 21 kills at Michigan State on Oct. 2. She now has 34 for her career
Led Illinois in kills in all but seven matches.
First-Team All-Mideast Region
NCAA All-Regional Tournament
Unanimous choice for All-Big Ten
Named Academic All-Big Ten
Through three rounds, ranked third in the NCAA Tournament in kills with 46.
Surpassed the 1,000-career kill mark vs. Minnesota on Nov. 8 becoming just the second Illinois player with 1,000 kills in her first two seasons
Ranked sixth in the nation and first in the Big Ten in kills per set at 4.66
Named AVCA and CVU.com National Player of the Week, the first for Illinois in five years, after posting 65 kills at the State Farm Illini Classic
Earned her third Big Ten Player of the Week of the year and fifth of her career on Nov. 24 after posting two double-doubles in victories over Purdue and Michigan State. Against the nationally ranked Boilermakers, tallied 17 kills and 17 digs
Also earned the honor on Nov. 10 after totaling 22 kills and 14 digs vs. Iowa and 29 kills and 13 digs vs. Minnesota
DeBruler averaged 5.4 kills per set to lead Illinois to the Illini Classic title. The sophomore recorded a double-double in each match with 14 kills and 15 digs against North Carolina, 20 kills and 11 digs vs. New Mexico State and 31 kills and 12 saves against No. 11 Oregon. She had 22 kills in the final three sets in a comeback victory over the Ducks.
Named to the All-Tournament team at the Billiken Invitational, leading the Illini to a 2-1 finish. Hit .370 with 12 kills vs. no. 3 Stanford
Named to the All-Tournament team at the Tennessee Comcast Classic after tallying 48 kills and 42 digs, including a career-high 20 digs at Tennessee
Was second on the team to Ashley Edinger in digs with 379, ninth-best in a season in school history Has 27 20-kill matches for her career, which is third on Illinois' all-time list
Tallied 24 kills and 22 digs vs. Minnesota, the first member of the Illini 20-20 club since Sue Webber had 22 kills and 26 digs vs. Minnesota on Oct. 12, 2002
Followed that with 21 kills and 15 digs the next night vs. Indiana and 26 kills and 16 digs vs. Northwestern
Had eight kills in the fifth set in a dramatic 25-22 victory over Michigan and tallied 22 digs overall
Had a habit finishing strong, hitting .500 with seven kills in the fourth set vs. Purdue on Nov. 19 and .600 with six of Illinois' 15 points in the deciding fifth set vs. Michigan State on Nov. 22
Had seven kills and hit .333 in the final set in the win over Cincinnati.
Her 577 kills are third most in a single season in school history
Named Honorable Mention All-Big Ten and to All-Big Ten Freshman Team
Ranked 22nd in the nation in kills per game
(.489), the nation's leader among freshmen
Had arguably the best debut of any player in Illini history with 28 kills, 11 digs and a .323 hitting percentage vs. Bowling Green
Earned All-Tournament honors at the Dayton Flyer Classic amd the State Farm Illini Classic
Illinois leader in kills in a total of 20 matches this season, including the last 18
Had 14 double-doubles on the season, her last against Michigan State with 31 kills and 13 digs
Ranked first in the Big Ten in kills per game in all matches and Big Ten matches only and first in the league in points per game for all matches
Ranks sixth all-time in 20-kill matches rendered and tied for third all-time in a single season with 15
Named Big Ten Player of the Week twice, her first on Match 1 followed by her second on March 29
Put up unbelievable numbers against Northwestern, rocketing 20 kills on a career-high .487 hitting
Tallied a career-high 31 kills against Michigan State to help Illinois snap its six game home losing streak
Set a career-high 18 digs against Northwestern
Named an All-American and ranked 30th nationally by prepvolleyball.com Brings international experience to the Illinois program, having been invited to participate in the USA Volleyball National High Performance Youth A2 Camp last July At the camp, DeBruler was named to the first team that won the International Junior Gold Medal Two-time member of the Chicago Sun-Times All-State team, a three-time West Suburban All-Conference honoree, and a two-time member of the Champaign News-Gazette All-State team. Member of the Chicago Tribune All-State second team in 2005 and the first team in 2006 Named to the West Suburban Conference All-Academic Team AVCA High School All-American In her final three years of high school, was named to five all-tournament teams and has helped DG North to back-to-back conference and regional championships, playing in one of the toughest brackets in the state In 2006, DeBruler hit .412 with 383 kills, 157 digs, 28 blocks, and 48 aces A four-year starter, her career numbers include 1,172 kills, 154 blocks, 565 digs and 99 aces Holds school records for kills in a match (21), season (383) and career Her 1,172 kills are 18th in state history Coached by Laura Johnwick at Downers Grove North Member of 1st Alliance of Chicago (coached by Beth Keck, Denise Kavanaugh, and Maren Witzel Chan), which placed 19th, 5th, and 5th, respectively in the 2005-2007 Junior Olympics Nationals. Member of all-tournament team in 2006 and 2007. Club team won the 2007 Prepvolleyball Classic with DeBruler winning the Outstanding Attacker Award As a junior, was a member of the HS badminton team that tied for State. As a senior, qualified for the State track meet in the 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400-meter relays.
Daughter of Dennis and Michelle DeBruler Older sister Jessica and twin Karen attend Illinois Enjoys badminton, singing and scrapbooking Member of Youth Group Member of the National Honor Society, Athletes Committed to Excellence, Link Crew and the choir Finalist for the J. Kyle Braid Leadership Award.
Year MP GP K E TA Pct. A SA SE RE DIG BS BA TB BE BHE
2007 30 118 577 264 1579 .198 11 32 62 59 285 0 47 47 17 0
2008 34 126 587 195 1547 .253 9 28 60 37 379 3 66 69 8 0
2009 32 113 504 140 1213 .300 8 22 66 39 314 5 58 63 11 1
2010 11 41 165 76 467 .191 0 1 12 7 139 3 3 6 2 1
Total 107 398 1833 675 4806 .241 28 83 200 142 1117 11 174 185 38 2
K: 31, twice, last vs. Oregon (8/30/08)
TA: 80 vs. Minnesota (10/3/08)
Pct: .538 (15-1-26) vs. Michigan State (11/7/09)
A: 1, 21x, last vs. Wisconsin (11/21/09)
SA: 5 vs. Texas Tech (8/29/09)
D: 28 vs. Northwestern (10/2/10)
BS: 1, 9x, last vs. Northwestern (10/2/10)
BA: 5, 2x last vs. Ohio State (9/25/09)
TB: 6 vs. Ohio State (10/3/09)
Getting to know Laura
Favorite athletes: Misty May and Kerri Walsh
What I do to relax away from volleyball: Watch movies
Favorite Illinois volleyball memory: Winning at home to get into the Sweet Sixteen.
Nickname: Debbie, Rocket
Career Plans: Coach college volleyball
Favorite Food: Anything that's sweet
Favorite TV Show: House
Favorite Musical Group: Taylor Swift
Favorite Movie: Any of the Harry Potter movies
My dream job would be: To be a dolphin trainer at Sea World.
If you weren't playing volleyball, which sport would you want to play? Badminton
Tell us about a unique or quirky habit of yours. If I see something that is crooked I have to straighten it.
What's your favorite cartoon character, and why? Tom and Jerry
If you could have a t-shirt printed with a message, what would it be? That's awesome because it's so cool!
One thing most people don't know about you: I'm a twin