Laura DeBruler named First Team All-America
Dec. 16, 2009
Lexington, Ky. -
Illinois junior outside hitter Laura DeBruler was named First Team All-America. This is the second consecutive All-America honor for DeBruler after receiving second team accolades a year ago. In addition, sophomore right side hitter Michelle Bartsch, junior middle blocker Johannah Bangert and junior setter Hillary Haen were named Honorable Mention All-America.
DeBruler becomes just the fourth Illinois player to earn First Team All-America, joining Mary Eggers, Kirsten Gleis and Erin Borske. The Three Honorable Mention honorees brings Illinois' all-time All-America total to 13.
DeBruler, a first team All-Big Ten performer, ranks second in the Big Ten and 13th in the nation in both kills (4.50 per set) and points (5.00 per set) and has led Illinois in kills in all but six matches. She tallied her 34th career match with at least 20 kills vs. Dayton, which is an Illinois record. She finished the season with 504 kills and moved into fifth on the all-time Illinois kills list during the match with Hawaii. DeBruler is just over 100 kills from becoming the Illini's all-time kills leader. DeBruler earned four All-Tournament honors, including two MVPs, and was twice named Big Ten Player of the Week.
Bangert continues to lead the nation in blocks at 1.58 per set. She hit .600 during the first and second round victories. Bangert has 492 career blocks, which is fifth on the all-time Illinois blocks list. She has the second and third most blocks in a single-season with 202 in 2008 and 179 this season. Bangert earned two Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors during the season giving her four for her career. The All-Big Ten selection has twice tied the school single-match block assist record with 13 vs. both Wisconsin and Purdue.
Bartsch led Illinois in kills in the NCAA First Round with 15 vs. IPFW and had eight blocks in the second round vs. Dayton. The Honorable Mention All-Big Ten performer earned Big Ten and Mideast Region Freshman of the year in 2008. Bartsch has led Illinois in kills five times and ranks seventh in the Big Ten in blocks in both overall (1.08) and conference matches (1.14). She was named to the All-Tournament Team at the State Farm Illini Classic and the season-opening Bluejay Invitational.
Haen earned First Team All-Big Ten honors and ranks 16th in the nation and second in the Big Ten in assists (11.42 per set). Haen has seven double-doubles on the season and has engineered an Illinois attack that hit .248 on the season. 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, .300 and .252, respectively, in three matches. She was named to the All-Tournament team at the Purdue Active Ankle Challenge after totaling 79 assists in victories over Louisville and Ohio.