Feb. 13, 2012
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa volleyball program announced its annual award-winners and distributed nine varsity letters to former student-athletes at the team’s postseason banquet Feb. 11.
Head coach Sharon Dingman presented the Most Valuable Player award to seniors Megan Eskew and Tiffany Nilges. The “I” letters were presented by former University of Iowa women’s athletics director Dr. Christine Grant, Dr. P. Sue Beckwith, and varsity club executive director Les Steenlage.
Eskew earned co-MVP honors after ranking second on the team in kills, service aces and digs. She recorded 10 double-doubles and was one of three Hawkeyes to start every match. Nilges started the final 27 contests after moving from outside hitter to right-side hitter. She ranked third on the team with a career-best 228 kills, and finished the season with career highs in attack percentage, aces, digs and blocks. Both players also earned academic All-Big Ten honors.
Sophomore Bethany Yeager was named Practice Player of the Year for the second straight season. The award recognizes the student-athlete(s) that consistently makes teammates better through hard work and dedication on the practice court. Yeager’s commitment to the practice floor helped her lead the Hawkeyes with 527 digs, the highest single-season total by a Hawkeye in five years. She also started all 33 matches, extending her streak of consecutive starts to 62 matches.
Freshman Emily Yanny earned the award for Academic Excellence and was named the Hawkeyes’ Most Improved Player. A health and human physiology major, Yanny totaled 134 kills and 54 blocks in 17 starts. She recorded nine kills and a career-high .429 attack percentage in the season finale against NCAA runner-up Illinois.
Mallory Husz, Eskew, Nilges and Yeager were recognized for being named to the Academic All-Big Ten team. Yeager was named to the 2011 Capital One Academic All-District volleyball team.
Iowa captured two tournament titles and ranked No. 29 in national attendance in 2011. The Hawkeyes will return 11 of 14 letterwinners in 2012.
“I” LETTER AWARD RECIPIENTS
Trista (Schoenbeck) Clark
Paula (Becker) Day
Joanne (Sueppel) Hartman
Lana (Kuiper) Smith
Cindy (Lamb) Watson