Friday, November 27, 2015

Pelger named honorable mention All-American

After putting together another impressive season at middle blocker for the Kansas State volleyball team, Kaitlynn Pelger was named an honorable mention recipient to the AVCA All-America Team.

The junior from Olathe posted 361 kills on a .317 hitting percentage, 91 blocks and 273 digs as one of only four middle blockers in the country to play all six rotations.

Pelger becomes the first player in school history to receive AVCA Honorable Mention in consecutive years. The two previous players to receive honorable mention were Vali Hejjas in 2004 and Gabby Guerre in 2003.

The Wildcats have also had three players named to one of the three All-America teams by the AVCA with Nataly Korobkova earning third team honors in 2007 and 2008. Liz Wegner received All-America Honorable Mention from Volleyball Magazine in 2000 and 2001 and Dawn Cady did so as well in 1999.

Playing all six rotations allowed, Pelger tallied nine double-doubles on the year, with eight of them by way of kills and digs. Her other double-double came in a sweep over Missouri State when she pounded out 11 kills and had 10 blocks.

Pelger and her teammates finished the year 21-9 and went to the NCAA tournament for the 14th time in school history and ninth time is head coach Suzie Fritz’s 12 years leading the program.

Pelger was a unanimous selection to the All-Big 12 First Team this season and twice was named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week. She also earned National Performer of the Week after helping the team to three wins while hosting the Varney’s Invitational.

During the season, Pelger was named to the all-tournament team at all three nonconference tournaments the Wildcats played in. She earned tournament MVP at the Bluejay Invitational where K-State swept Denver, Syracuse and eventual Missouri Valley champion Creighton.

Pelger received MVP honors at the Golden Hurricane Classic where K-State tallied wins over three teams that would make the NCAA tournament and post the best start in school history at 12-0.

The Wildcats swept host Tulsa to open the tournament and followed with a win over then-ranked No. 10 Minnesota in five sets. K-State responded with a sweep over No. 20 Dayton and Pelger would be named AVCA National Player of the Week for her efforts.

The Big 12 was again well-represented on the AVCA All-America Teams. Six players from the league were named to the first, second or third team. Three more players joined Pelger as honorable mention.


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