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Dec 17-After advancing to the NCAA tournament's second round and completing the 2003 season with a 26-7 overall record, Loyola Marymount volleyball finishes the year with the nation's No

Dec. 17-After advancing to the NCAA tournament's second round and completing the 2003 season with a 26-7 overall record, Loyola Marymount volleyball finishes the year with the nation's No. 17 ranking, the American Volleyball Coaches Association announced. LMU junior Kelli Nerison also earned All-America honorable mention honors after her breakthrough season for the Lions.

After earning an AVCA All-Region selection earlier this month, Nerison is also listed among the nation's best as a honorable mention All-American. At the time of the All-Region selection, Nerison ranked 17th in the nation in hitting percentage (.381) and 23rd in blocks per game (1.45) for matches played through November 30.

The middle blocker was selected to the 2003 All-West Coast Conference first-team after leading the conference in both hitting percentage and blocks per game. She also finished the season ranking 17th in kills per game (2.85).

After making just seven appearances in 2002, Nerison leaped into the LMU all-time rankings thanks to this season's play. Though she had yet to record a single collegiate solo block prior to this season, the junior set a new program record for single season solo blocks (48), total blocks (168), and block average (1.46). She also teamed with senior Tiana Newsome to set the new mark for single season block assists (120). In addition, Nerison ranks third in single season attack percentage (.376), and fourth and seventh in all-time match blocking highs (12 vs. Pepperdine on 10/11/03 and 11 vs. Saint Mary's on 10/03/03).

The WCC's Player of the Month in October, Nerison led the way as the Lions (26-7, 10-4 WCC) climbed the national rankings. The Laguna Niguel, Calif., native played her best against the nation's top teams, posting 12 blocks, 12 kills, and a .409 hitting percentage against then-No. 6 Pepperdine on October 11. Her 12 blocks helped LMU out-block the Waves 17.0 to 7.0 in the match. It was the junior's first career double-double performance.

A consistent factor throughout October, Nerison's numbers earned her player of the month honors without ever receiving a player of the week nod. Overall in October, Nerison recorded double-digit kills and seven or more blocks in seven of LMU's eight matches, while never hitting below .286.

Nerison is the eighth Lion to receive the AVCA All-Region honor. Current setter Nicole Oehlman was named to the AVCA All-Region team in 2000.