LSU Gold

Cooper Awarded AVCA First-Team All-America Honor

by Matt Dunaway
Cooper Awarded AVCA First-Team All-America Honor

TAMPA, Fla. — LSU middle blocker Brittnee Cooper continued to rack up accolades Wednesday as the 2009 SEC Player of the Year earned American Volleyball Coaches Association [AVCA] First-Team All-America honors. She joins Monique Adams [1990 & 1991] and Angie Miller [1992] as the only Tigers selected to this prestigious honor in program history.

Cooper is one of 14 players to pick up AVCA All-America First-Team status. She is now eligible for AVCA National Player of the Year, which will be announced Friday at the AVCA All-America/Player of the Year Banquet presented by Zamst at the Tampa Convention Center as part of the NCAA Final Four.

“This is such a wonderful honor for Brittnee,” head coach Fran Flory said. “As I reflect on how far she has come during her career, it’s such a fitting finish to have her recognized on the AVCA All-American First Team. She has gone from being a great athlete to being a great volleyball player this season. We’re so proud that she has been recognized on the national level for her hard work and dedication.”

Cooper connected for a team-high 410 kills on an astonishing .409 hitting percentage, which is a program single-season record in addition to ranking No. 6 nationally. She knocked double-digit kills on 23 times highlighted by a career-best 28 spikes against Texas A&M in the NCAA Tournament Second Round.

Cooper anchored LSU’s front row defense as the Tigers recorded 2.75 blocks per set en route to a No. 12 national ranking. Cooper’s 1.37 blocks per frame not only headlined the SEC but was No. 18 nationally. She tallied at least five blocks on 15 occasions and finished fifth on the program’s all-time list with 495 total stuffs.

Outside hitter Marina Skender and setter Sam Dabbs also notched AVCA All-America Honorable Mention after being named AVCA All-South Region last week.

LSU put together an impressive 25-7 record in 2009 en route to the program’s first SEC regular season title since 1991. Under Flory, the defending five-time SEC Western Division champions are one of only 20 programs in the nation to appear in the last five NCAA Tournaments.

2009 AVCA First-Team All-America 
Player, School Pos Yr. Hometown
Blair Brown Penn State, RS/Opp Jr. Purcellville, Va.
Brittnee Cooper, LSU, MB Sr. Houston, Texas
Hana Cutura, California, OH, Sr. Zagreb, Croatia
Kanani Danielson Hawai`i, OH, So. Ewa Beach, Hawai`i
Laura DeBruler Illinois, OH, Jr. Downers Grove, Ill.
Ashley Engle, Texas, S/H Sr. Yorba Linda, Calif.
Lauren Gibbemeyer, Minnesota, MB Jr. St. Paul, Minn.
Alisha Glass Penn State, S, Sr. Leland, Mich.
Megan Hodge, Penn State, OH, Sr. Durham, N.C.
Desitnee Hooker, Texas, OH, Sr. San Antonio, Texas
Cassidy Lichtman, Stanford, S/H Jr. Poway, Calif.
Ashley Mass, Iowa State, L, Jr. Muskego, Wisc.
Arielle Wilson Penn State, MB Jr. Broadview, Ill.
Lexi Zimmerman, Michigan, S, Jr. Barrington, Ill.