Five Bears Named All-Conference, Brand Freshman of the Year
Calli Norman is one of four players in MVC history to make first-team all-conference four times
Calli Norman is one of four players in MVC history to make first-team all-conference four times

Nov. 24, 2011

Complete MVC All-Conference Volleyball Teams

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Five Missouri State volleyball players earned all-conference recognition and Olivia Brand was named the Missouri Valley Conference Freshman of the Year Thursday at the MVC Tournament banquet in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Senior Calli Norman made the First Team for a fourth consecutive season and was joined by sophomore Carly Thomas, junior Karen Rivatto made the Second Team and Brand and Kaitlin Jaeger were All-Freshman selections.

Norman, who joins Wichita State’s Mary Elizabeth Hooper this year as the third and fourth players in MVC history to earn first team honors four times, is Missouri State’s leader this season with a .341 hitting percentage and 1.07 blocks per set, ranking among the league’s top five in both categories. The middle blocker from St. Charles, Mo., ranks fifth at Missouri State with a career .300 hitting percentage, seventh with 459 sets played, ninth with 382 block assists, 11th with 439 total blocks and 11th with 1,207 kills.

Thomas leads the conference with 11.38 assists per set and has 21 assist-dig double-doubles on the season, the most for an MSU player since 1990. The setter posted 10 kills, 48 assists and 18 digs in the regular season finale at Illinois State, becoming the first MSU player with a triple-double in those categories since 2006, and had consecutive matches of at least 50 assists and 20 digs earlier this season, just the 11th and 12th such performances in school history. The Swansea, Ill., native ranks 19th nationally in assists and leads all MVC setters with 3.10 digs per set.

Rivatto makes the second team after leading the team with 280 kills and a 3.11 per set average in her first season at MSU. The outside hitter from Brazil has 12 double-doubles this season and 18 matches of at least 10 kills with highs of 20 kills at Evansville and 17 digs against Kansas State.

Brand is the fifth Missouri State player to win MVC Freshman of the Year, joining Vanessa Wouters (1994), Jessica Hovorka (1995), Shanda Harper (2006) and Christine McCartney (2010) on that list. The rookie from Springfield averages 2.73 kills per set with 175 overall, and ranks sixth in MVC matches only with a 3.09 kill average on .237 hitting. The outside hitter has eight double-figure kill matches with a high of 22 in the MVC opener, the most by a Missouri State freshman since 1994.

Jaeger has become one of the Bears’ top offensive options late in the season and hit .294 in MVC matches with 2.21 kills per set. Overall, the Webb City product has 122 kills on .269 hitting for the year. Jaeger had at least 11 kills in four of MSU’s final five matches, and has 68 kills on a .358 hitting percentage during Missouri State’s current seven-match win streak.

Missouri State (22-7, 15-3 MVC) takes the No. 2 seed into this week’s State Farm MVC Tournament in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and will play the winner of Thursday’s 3/6 match between Wichita State and Indiana State at 5 p.m. Friday.



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