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WCC Players Named to AVCA All-Pacific Region Volleyball Team

Dec. 7, 2007

Santa Clara volleyball setter Crystal Matich was honored by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Wednesday as they allowed its All-Region teams. The senior became a two-time All-Pacific honoree after helping guide the Broncos to a 19-12 overall record and their fifth West Coast Conference title with an 11-3 record.

The Santa Rosa, Calif., native, who also received WCC Player of the Year accolades in November, compiled a team-best .331 hitting percentage (129-38-275) and led Santa Clara in assists, averaging 13.29 per game. That mark also placed Matich on top of the league standings in assists per game this season. Matich also registered 33 service aces, 49 total blocks and 2.21 digs per game.

As of Dec. 2 on the national stage, Matich is ranked 16th overall in assists per game, which places Santa Clara as a team at No. 14 in the nation in that same category.

The Broncos advanced to the first round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament after receiving the WCC's automatic bid. Santa Clara played an intense match against the No. 1 seeded Stanford Cardinal but fell in the hard-fought battle, 3-0. It was the Broncos 10th consecutive trip to the Big Dance and the ninth time under the direction of the 2007 WCC Coach of the Year, Jon Wallace.

Loyola Marymount senior Heather Hughes was awarded AVCA All-Region Honorable Mention recognition after a fantastic showing over the course of the 2007 season, it was announced on Wednesday.

Hughes, a native of Fallbrook, Calif., earned First Team All-WCC honors earlier this year. She finished first in the WCC in kills and points with 5.00 and 5.56 per game, respectively. Hughes earned Collegiate Volleyball Update's National Player of the Week and WCC Player of the Week for the week of September 4, and led the nation in kills per game from September 10 to November 4, a span of eight weeks. She currently ranks 18th in the nation in kills per game, and amassed two of the top-three kill performances in the WCC this season, posting a career-high 32 kills against Gonzaga on October 6 and recording 31 kills against UNLV on September 1. She collected a WCC-best 19 double-doubles this year and was the only WCC player to record a triple-double, accomplishing the feat twice. Hughes led the Lions with 1,382 total attacks and 540 kills this year, ranked second with a .249 attack percentage and 31 service aces and third with 11 block solos. Hughes played in all 108 games for the Lions this season.

Hughes' name is heavily stamped in the LMU record books after an illustrious four-year career, as she has claimed the top spot in aces (157), second in kills (1,679), digs (1,261) and total attacks (4,435), fourth in games played (438) and kills-per-game (3.83), seventh in service aces-per-game (0.36) and ninth in digs-per-game (2.88).

Joining Hughes on the Honorable Mention squad were San Diego's Laurel Abrahamson and Amy DeGroot.

Abrahamson, a 6-4 senior from Bloomington, Minn., helped lead the Toreros to a share of the WCC championship this season. For the season, Abrahamson was second on the team in kills with 394 and led the team in hitting percentage at .379. Abrahamson also led the team in blocks with 117. For August, Abrahamson took home the WCC Player of the Month award and was selected as the WCC Player of the Week four times throughout the season.

DeGroot, a 6-1 sophomore from Frenchtown, Mont., also helped lead the Toreros to their second consecutive WCC crown. DeGroot led the team in kills with 423 (3.99 kpg) and was also a huge defensive help for USD as she was second on the team in digs with 286 (2.70 dpg). DeGroot took home the WCC Player of the Week award on two different occasions and recorded a team-best 13 double-doubles during the season.