Dec. 10, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The University of Alabama volleyball program had four named to the All-South Region Team by the American Volleyball Coaches Association on Tuesday. Head coach Ed Allen was named the South Region Coach of the Year and players Krystal Rivers, Sierra Wilson and Brittany Thomas were selected to the All-South Region first team.
In his third season leading the Crimson Tide, Allen has improved every season from his 11-20 overall record in 2011 to a 24-win season in 2013. Alabama finished fourth in the Southeastern Conference and claimed a spot in the NCAA tournament for the fourth time in school history, and first since the 2007 season. The 24 wins in 2013 match the school record, since becoming an NCAA program in 1989. Allen earned AVCA Midwest Coach of the Year honors back in 2010 while coaching at Tulsa, making this his second honor.
Allen coached three players to AVCA All-Region selections led by Rivers, who had a team-high 435 kills and finished sixth in the SEC with a 3.57 kills per set average. Rivers finished her redshirt freshman campaign with a .404 hitting percentage, as the middle blocker finished the season third in the SEC and 21st nationally. Rivers also ranked 96th in the country in kills per set and was 73rd nationally with 4.27 points per set.
The selection to the AVCA All-South Region team for Rivers marks the third post-season award of the year for the first-year player, after she was named to the All-SEC Team and the SEC All-Freshman team last week.
Wilson dished out 1,450 assists in 2013 for the third most assists in a single season in school history. Wilson averaged 12.08 assists per set, finishing second in the SEC and fifth in the country. She closed her sophomore campaign with 197 digs to average 1.97 digs per set and 37 blocks for a 0.31 blocks per set average. After two seasons with the Crimson Tide, Wilson has 2,743 career assists, ranking fifth all-time at the Capstone.
A six rotation player for the Tide in 2013, Thomas was the only player on the Alabama roster to play every point during the season. Thomas finished the year second in the team in both kills (404) and digs (297) and led the team with 35 service aces. Thomas ranked eighth in the SEC with a 3.31 kills per set average, while her 3.78 points per set were ninth in the conference and 164th nationally.
Rivers, Wilson and Thomas are the first players since 2004 to earn AVCA All-South Region honors, when Erin Heffner was a first team honoree.
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AVCA All-South Region Team
Name School Position Year
Megan Devine East Tennessee State OH Sr.
Jewell Dobson Lipscomb MB Jr.
Lauren Ford Lipscomb OH Jr.
Kimmy Gardiner Mississippi State RS Fr.
Meredith Hays Arkansas OH Jr.
Briana Holman LSU MB Fr.
Camila Jersonsky Auburn MB Sr.
Roxanne McVey Mississippi State L So.
Tyler Richardson Middle Tennessee State MB RS So.
Krystal Rivers Alabama MB RS Fr.
Raymariely Santos Arkansas S Sr.
Allie Sawatzky Texas A&M S Sr.
Brittany Thomas Alabama OH Fr.
Sierra Wilson Alabama S So.
Name School Position Year
Jazzmin Babers Texas A&M MB Fr.
Laura Der Marshall OH Sr.
Quinci Hayward Southern Mississippi MB So.
Emily Helm Arkansas L Sr.
Sara Pope Oral Roberts OH Jr.
Shelby Sullivan Texas A&M MB Fr.
Freshman of the Year: Briana Holman, LSU, MB
Coach of the Year: Ed Allen, Alabama