LEXINGTON, KY (12/4/12) – For the second-consecutive season a trio of Kentucky volleyball players have earned American Volleyball Coaches Association All-South Region distinction. Senior Stephanie Klefot and junior Whitney Billings were tabbed to the first-team and senior Christine Hartmann was an honorable mention selection. Klefot and Billings are now automatically qualified for All-America accolades.
With three players honored again this season, it matches a program record set in 2009 and again in 2011 with three players earning distinction.
Klefot is a first-team selection for the second-straight year after already hauling in her third-straight Southeastern Conference Libero of the Year honor earlier this season. She ranks second in UK history with more than 1,900 career digs – a total which also rates as the fourth-best in the history of the SEC. She’s logged more than 470 digs for the third-straight season and averaged 3.90 digs per set against teams ranked regionally in the AVCA this season. In helping lead UK to a second-straight Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament, she had a match-high 18 digs and a career-high five aces to lead UK past Ohio State on Saturday.
Billings joins Klefot as a first-team honoree for the second year in a row. The junior right side hitter has enjoyed a dynamic season for the Blue and White leading the team in kills, points and aces. She ranks second on the team in digs and blocks to add to her all-around efforts. Billings has logged a career-high 17 double-double efforts including a 10-kill, 12-dig performance in guiding UK past Ohio State on Saturday. Against regionally ranked teams, Billings averaged 3.12 kills per set on a .247 attacking clip. She added 30 assists, 22 digs and 2.92 digs per set.
Hartmann ranks among UK’s all-time leaders in career assists and again has directed a balanced UK offensive attack in 2012. Hartmann has enjoyed career-high totals in digs (19 vs. Georgia) and kills (9) vs. Tennessee in important victories for the Blue and White. She dished out more than 40 assists 14 times this season, including Saturday’s win over Ohio State. Five UK attackers strike for more than 2.50 kills per set and she dished out 10.70 assists per set against regionally ranked foes.
Kentucky returns to action in the Sweet 16 on Friday against top-seeded Penn State at 5 p.m. ET in Mackey Arena on the campus of Purdue. UK is one of just nine teams in the nation to advance to consecutive Sweet 16 appearances, and one of 12 to move on to the Regional round in three of the last four seasons.
All-session tickets (good for both Friday and Saturday matches) are: $18 for adults and $12 for student chairback seats (section 8-11), $15 adult and $10 student lower level reserved seating and $12 adult and $8 student upper level general admission seats. Single session tickets will not be available until Friday, Dec. 7.
ESPN3.com will broadcast both matches on Friday, while Saturday's regional championship match will air live on ESPNU. Pam Ward and Krista Blunk will call the action for ESPN.
Information provided by UK Athletics
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