LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Seniors Katie Bender (2nd Team) and Lexi Bueltel (1st Team) have been recognized as All-Americans for NCCAA DII by the American Volleyball Coaches Association, as was announced this morning by the AVCA.
In cooperation with the NCCAA, the AVCA awards an All-America Team for both NCCAA Divisions I and II, as well as a USMC/AVCA National Coach of the Year, National Assistant Coach of the Year, and TeamSnap/AVCA National Player of the Year. NCCAA coaches are also eligible to receive the AVCA Team Academic Award and AVCA Victory Club awards.
For Bender and Bueltel, this marks the first year they have received the honor from the AVCA.
Both players were named as NCCAA DII All-Americans by the NCCAA at last week's National Tournament. This is a separate award from the AVCA listing. Bueltel earned her second career All-America listing on the 1st Team while Bender broke into the 2nd Team for the first time in her 2-year career.
Bueltel's 4-year career was noteworthy. Not only did she end with 3 NCCAA DII national titles to her name, but she also broke into the career top 10 in significant categories. Bueltel registered 1,028 kills (8th), 339 total blocks (5th), 1,382 points (9th), 140 aces (8th), and 138 matches played (5th), to name a few.
Bueltel was also honored earlier this month as the NCCAA North Region Player of the Year and made an encore with an NCCAA All-Tournament Team selection at this year's national championship.
Bender has only played 2 seasons but has made a monumental impact. The Green Bay native has amassed 1,290 career digs, which lands her 9th all-time in that category. That mark is far and away the most of any 2-year player. Bender's 5.51 digs per set tops the all-time charts in Maranatha history.
A 2-time AD3I 1st Team Selection and this year's AD3I Libero of the Year, Bender has shown a tireless work ethic on the court. Back at this year's regional tournament, she was named as the NCCAA North Region Libero of the Year for the second year running.
A full listing of NCCAA DII All-Americans will be announced soon. The men's and women's soccer awards have yet to be released.