Brittany Quick led Montana in hitting percentage and blocks
Nov. 25, 2011
University of Montana sophomore outside hitter Kayla Reno was named second team All-Big Sky Conference the league office announced Thursday night at Portland, Ore., on the eve of the Big Sky tournament. It was the first career postseason accolade for Reno.
Senior middle blocker Brittany Quick was named honorable mention All-Big Sky for the second consecutive season.
Reno led Montana, which went 11-13 and finished fifth in the Big Sky with a record of 8-8, in kills (2.84/s) on .192 hitting. She also ranked third in digs (2.60/s) and fourth in blocks (0.48/s).
Reno ranked eighth in the Big Sky Conference in kills and had the fourth-highest hitting percentage among left-side hitters in the conference during league play, when she finished with double-figure kills in 13 of 16 matches.
"Kayla has continued to make improvements in her overall game, and over two years has become one of the most steady and dynamic outside hitters in the Big Sky Conference," UM coach Jerry Wagner said.
"She has worked diligently at getting better at her position, so as coaches we're very proud that she is getting this recognition."
Reno had similar offensive numbers in 2011 that she had as a freshman, when she averaged 2.54 kills on .188 hitting, but in her first collegiate season she was subbed out on back-row opportunites.
As a sophomore she played all the way around and more than tripled her digging numbers, from 73 (0.72/s) in 2010 to 252 in 2011 (2.60/s).
"Our coaches did a good job of bringing Kayla's defense and ball-handling to a point that she was very comfortable in expanding her role," Wagner said. "She is a very good athlete who is just growing in confidence.
"She put in the time and has brought all the elements of her game to an all-conference level."
Quick led Montana in both hitting percentage (.259) and blocks (0.96/s) her final season with the Grizzlies. Her averages in those categories ranked seventh and ninth in the Big Sky.
She concluded her career with a .275 hitting percentage, third best in Montana history, and a No. 7 ranking on the career block assists list with 296.
The 2011 All-Big Sky Conference awards was a heavy dose of Northern Colorado players and rightfully so. The Bears won the outright Big Sky title with a 13-3 league mark and take the No. 1 seed into this weekend's tournament.
Junior outside hitter Kelley Arnold, who led the league in kills on the Big Sky's top offensive team, was the unanimous Most Valuable Player.
Middle blocker Andrea Spaustat, who led the Big Sky in hitting at .353, was named Freshman of the Year, and senior Amanda Arterburn, who averaged a league-leading 5.57 digs during Big Sky play, was named Libero of the Year.
Arnold and Spaustat were both first team All-Big Sky. Arterburn and junior setter Marissa Hughes, who directed a UNC offense that hit .247 during its Big Sky schedule, made second team.
The six-player first team had a get-used-to-our-names feel: Not a single senior among the bunch.
Portland State, which finished 10-4 and second to Northern Colorado, placed junior outside hitter Megan Ellis and sophomore setter Garyn Schlatter on the first team.
Fourth-place Eastern Washington had junior outside hitter Cora Kellerman, and sixth-place Idaho State had junior outside hitter Breanne Van Every.
Joining Reno, Arterburn and Hughes on the second team was a pair of seniors from Sacramento State, which finished third at 10-6: senior middle blocker Kelsey Elston and senior outside hitter Eryn Kirby.
Eastern Washington junior outside hitter Shelby Puckett rounded out the six-player second team.
Quick and eight others were named honorable mention, meaning they picked up at least one vote from the Big Sky Conference coaches for first or (more likely) second team honors.
2011 Big Sky Conference Individual Award Winners
Most Valuable Player: Kelley Arnold (Northern Colorado, Jr., OH)
Top Newcomer: Dama Cox (Weber State, Jr., OH)
Outstanding Freshman: Andrea Spaustat (Northern Colorado, Fr., MB)
Libero of the Year: Amanda Arterburn (Northern Colorado, Sr.)
First Team All-Big Sky Conference
Cora Kellerman (Eastern Washington, Jr., OH, La Conner, Wash.)
Breanne Van Every (Idaho State, Jr., OH, Chubbuck, Idaho)
Kelley Arnold (Northern Colorado, Jr., OH, Berthoud, Colo.)
Andrea Spaustat (Northern Colorado, Fr., MB, Omaha, Neb.)
Megan Ellis (Portland State, Jr., OH, Burnaby, B.C.)
Garyn Schlatter (Portland State, So., S, Canby, Ore.)
Second Team All-Big Sky Conference
Shelby Puckett (Eastern Washington, Jr., OH, Latah, Wash.)
Kayla Reno (Montana, So., OH, Spanaway, Wash.)
Amanda Arterburn (Northern Colorado, Sr., L, Aurora, Colo.)
Marissa Hughes (Northern Colorado, Jr., S, Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Eryn Kirby (Sacramento State, Sr., OH, Yuba City, Calif.)
Kelsey Elston (Sacramento State, Sr., MB, Rocklin, Calif.)
Honorable Mention All-Big Sky Conference
Vanessa Muir (Idaho State, Sr., MB, Smoot, Wyo.)
Brittany Quick (Montana, Sr., MB, Richland, Wash.)
Rachelle Allen (Montana State, Sr., OH, Longmont, Colo.)
Anna Gott (Northern Arizona, Jr., L, Phoenix, Ariz.)
Sydney Kemper (Northern Arizona, Fr., MB, Albuquerque, N.M.)
Katie O'Brien (Portland State, Fr., MB, Louisville, Colo.)
Aubrey Mitchell (Portland State, So., OH, Reno, Nev.)
Breanne Menees (Sacramento State, Sr., L, Bakersfield, Calif.)
Bethany Wray (Weber State, Jr., OH, West Haven, Utah)
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