Junior captain Cora Kellerman repeats as Teammate of the Year, while also taking home coveted Eagle Award
The Eastern Washington University volleyball team recently held its annual awards party to celebrate the accomplishments of the 2011 season. Several members of the squad were recognized by teammates and coaches at the event, held this year at Pattison's North Family Skating Center in Spokane, Wash.
Just as she did in 2010, junior Cora Kellerman took home two of the five team awards. The 6-foot-0 outside hitter was honored with Teammate of the Year, as well as the Eagle Award, which is given to the player who best exemplifies the qualities valued by the team as a whole, including work ethic, leadership, perseverance, performance and value to the program. The Eagle Award is the only one of the five that is selected by the coaching staff.
Last season, Kellerman was also named Teammate of the Year, as well as Most Inspirational Player, even though she spent the entire season on the sidelines. Kellerman returned to the court this year after redshirting in 2010 because of a rare heart condition.
In her first year back, Kellerman led the team in kills, averaging 3.14 per set. She had nine double-doubles in 2011 and posted four 20+ kill outings. She was one of six elite players named to the All-Big Sky Conference First Team, and was twice named BSC Player of the Week during the 2011 campaign.
Senior libero Lindsey Petroni was selected by her teammates as the Most Valuable Player for the 2011 season. Petroni averaged 4.56 digs per set, and had four 30+ dig outings. She set the EWU all-time school record for the most 30-dig matches in a career, finishing with a total of seven in her four-year tenure.
The award for Most Inspirational Player was given to junior setter Laney Brown, who played in all 28 matches in the 2011 campaign. Brown, who split setting duties with sophomore Lindsay Niemeier, averaged 4.40 assists per game and 1.89 digs. She also tallied the second-most service aces of anyone on the squad with 27.
Freshmen Kelsey Julian and Talia Fermantez shared the Most Improved Player award. As a rookie, Julian started 27 of 28 matches for the Eagles, averaging 0.93 kills and 0.64 blocks per set. Fermantez, who played in 26 of EWU's 28 matches, had a major impact throughout the season, but was especially strong in conference play. The 6-1 middle blocker averaged 1.75 kills per set on a .302 attack percentage, and contributed 0.94 blocks per set in Eastern's 16 league matches. Behind veterans Kellerman and Shelby Puckett, Fermantez was the third-leading scorer for the Eags during the Big Sky season.
The 2011 Eagles finished the year at 13-15 overall and 9-7 in league play. Eastern advanced to the semifinals of the Big Sky tournament for the 15th time in the last 16 years.