Feb. 11, 2013
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa volleyball team announced its team award winners for the 2012 season Saturday at its annual postseason banquet. Junior Bethany Yeager was named team MVP, junior Grace Burns was selected as Practice Player of the Year, and sophomore Erin Leppek garnered the team’s Most Improved and Academic Excellence awards.
Yeager, a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, has started every match of her Hawkeye career (95) and has played in 347 out of a possible 348 sets. One of three team captains, she has led Iowa in digs in each of her first three seasons.
Yeager became the 14th Hawkeye in program history to surpass 1,000 career digs in Iowa’s season-opening sweep of Chicago State. The junior registered a match-high 21 digs in the win. Yeager registered a team-high 20 digs on Oct. 13 against Wisconsin to pass Kari Hamel for fifth all-time in program history with 1,388 in her career. On Oct. 21 at Northwestern, Yeager turned in 11 digs to become the fifth Hawkeye in program history to eclipse 1,400 career digs.
The Brenham, Texas, native finished third in the Big Ten in digs (4.48/set) and sits fifth in program history with 1,522 career digs. She moved up nine spots on the all-time list during the season.
Burns was named Academic All-Big Ten in 2012. The Geneva, Ill., native played in seven matches and saw her first action of the season against No. 1 Penn State on Oct. 24 after undergoing offseason ACL surgery.
Leppek was also named Academic All-Big Ten. The native of Rochester Hills, Mich., played in a career-high 29 matches, posting career-bests in sets played (81), matches started (16), kills (69), digs (21), total blocks and points (93.5).
The Hawkeyes will return 15-of-16 letterwinners in 2013.