Volleyball Announces Banquet Award Winners
Dec. 15, 2002
FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State volleyball team conducted its annual banquet award luncheon this afternoon and five Bulldogs took home team accolades, including co-Most Valuable Player honors that went to sophomore outside hitter Kristen Fenton (Marysville, Mich.) and senior middle blocker Java Johnson (Fresno, Calif.).
Fenton, who also was selected as the team's Best Offensive Player, garnered American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-West Region and First Team All-Western Athletic Conference honors this fall. Ending the year with 16 consecutive double-figure kill matches in which she averaged 16.31 kills per match and 4.35 kills per game, she recorded 10-plus kill matches in every match but five (24 of 29). During the year, she also was named WAC Player of the Week (Nov. 11) and was selected to two all-tournament teams as well as being named to the 2002 WAC Volleyball Championship All-Tournament squad. With 557 career kills and 500 career digs, Fenton already is ranked No. 10 in career hitting (.261) at Fresno State.
Johnson, a two-year player and starter for the Bulldogs, was selected honorable mention to AVCA All-West Region team. The 2002 preseason all-WAC pick captured first team all-conference honors this season as she was nationally-ranked in hitting percentage as well as being among the league's best in hitting and blocking. Having hit .300 or better in 21 of 30 matches played, Johnson made the best of her two years as a Bulldog. She closed out her career by ranking No. 1 in blocks per game (1.25), No. 4 in hitting (.299), No. 9 in block assists (182) and No. 10 in total blocks (230). Setting the ninth-best single-season mark in blocks (132), Johnson was the only Bulldog named to all three all-tourney teams.
Senior outside hitter Christy Burnett (Fallbrook, Calif.) earned two team awards as she was selected Best Defensive Player and received the Coaches Award. Burnett was nationally ranked in service aces for six weeks and appeared as high as No. 24, twice. As the fifth Bulldog to tally 1,000 career digs, she was named second team all-WAC after being a preseason all-league pick to start the season. Burnett, who set the eighth-best mark for service aces in a season (46), closed out her career with 971 kills and 1,060 digs. At Fresno State she ranks No. 4 in career digs, No. 6 in career digs per game (2.90) and No. 8 in career attempts (2,794).
Sophomore libero/defensive specialist Tina Brennan (Woodinville, Wash.) was the recipient of the team's Academic Excellence Award. Brennan led the Bulldogs in digs (334) and had double-figure dig performances in 20 of 30 matches played. She is a two-time Dean's List member as well as being a 2001 Fresno State Scholar-Athlete and WAC All-Academic as a freshman.
The Most Improved Player award went to freshman middle blocker Andrea Thrower (Downey, Calif.). A redshirt freshman, Thrower appeared in eight matches and picked up her first career double-figure kill match with 11 kills against Nicholls State. She set season high marks against the Lady Colonels in kills, attempts (18), digs (2), aces (1), hitting (.500, 11-2-18) and blocks (2).
Coming off a 23-7 season, the Bulldogs posted the best win percentage in school history (.767) as well as setting/tying 18 school records. The 'Dogs finished second (10-3) in the WAC and advanced to the conference championship semifinals for the second straight year. Fresno State also made its fourth NCAA Tournament appearance while posting its ninth 20-win season in school history.
Boasting three AVCA All-West Region and five all-WAC selections, Fresno State received votes in the USA Today/AVCA Coaches Top 25 poll in 11 of the final 12 weeks of the
season. Reaching as high as No. 28 in the national poll, the 'Dogs were
ranked among the nation's best as individuals and/or team in hitting
efficiency, service aces per game, kills per game, digs per game, blocks
per game and win/lost percentage in 2002.