Nov. 10, 2011
FRESNO, Calif. - The ability to excel both academically and athletically is the top priority for the Bulldog volleyball program and junior outside hitters Cecilia Agraz and Marissa Brand received nods as 2011 Capital One Academic All-District selections, the College Sports Information Directors of America announced Thursday.
"It doesn't surprise us at all that these two won this prestigious award," fourth-year head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell said of the distinctions that recognize both academic and athletic achievements. "They're two of the most committed, bright student-athletes I've ever worked with and are terrific role models for our community."
Agraz (Hanford, Calif.), a first-team honoree for the first time after earning a second-team selection last season, is the first two-time winner in Bulldog volleyball's 41-year history. She is a four-time member of the university's President List and has twice received Academic All-WAC accolades.
Agraz, a communication and political science major in the rigorous Smittcamp Family Honors College, holds a perfect 4.0 cumulative grade point average through her first four semesters at Fresno State.
In 2011, Agraz has appeared in all 25 matches with 17 starts while she sports 114 kills (1.3 kps), 156 digs (1.8 dps) and 27 aces (0.3 aps). She has also posted three double-digit kill efforts and three double-digit dig marks.
Agraz is now on the Academic All-American ballot - a honor reserved only for first-team Academic All-District honorees.
Brand (Cypress, Calif.) received her first Academic All-District honor this year as the team's kills, digs and points per set leader. She was a 2010 second-team All-WAC selection, a two-time Academic All-WAC honoree, a two-time WAC Player of the Week. Brand, a criminology major specializing in forensic science, has also been named to the President's List along with four distinctions on the Dean's List.
One of the team's captains and best outside hitters in the Western region, Brand leads the Bulldogs with 3.9 kills, 2.5 digs and 4.3 points per set and delivered double-digit kills performances in each of Fresno State's first ten matches this season.
On the year, she recorded 142 kills, 91 digs, 10 blocks and eight aces before suffering a season-ending knee injury during non-conference play. Last season, she led the WAC with 12 double-doubles.
Under Netherby-Sewell, the Bulldogs have been recognized for the past two seasons with the American Volleyball Coaches Association team academic award for maintaining a combined grade point average of 3.3 or higher.
Fresno State is one of only three NCAA D-1 schools in the state of California to receive the distinction, along with Stanford and California, and one of 92 in the nation honored with the 2010-11 award.
The 'Dogs were also the only California State University school to receive the honor last year and the only WAC school to earn the award in each of the past two years.
Fresno State (12-13, 6-6 WAC) is hosting its' final two matches as a member of the WAC tonight against Idaho and plays Utah State on Saturday. Both matches start at 7 p.m.
District VIII Honorees
Cecilia Agraz, Fresno State
Stephanie Browne, Stanford
Lauren Campbell, Northern Arizona
Katherine Fischer, Oregon
Liz McArthur, Utah State
Tanya Schmidt, Santa Clara
Katie Bailey, Northern Arizona
Marissa Brand, Fresno State
Kanani Danielson, Hawai'i
Kyle Edinger, Gonzaga
Kim Hill, Pepperdine
Robin Rostratter, California
"We Are Your Team!" --- Don't miss the biggest volleyball match of the year when the Bulldogs host Idaho on Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. It's Greek Night and the most attended greek house will win dinner with the team. All Fresno State students are free to all home volleyball matches.
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