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Volleyball Juniors Honored

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Published
December 14, 2010
By
Joe Reinsch

AZUSA, Calif. -- Juniors Whittany Radcliffe and Amy Alkazin added NAIA All-American honors to their All-Golden State Athletic Conference selection after leading Azusa Pacific’s volleyball team to a series of program firsts, and a third player from the junior class, outside hitter Marguerite Hanna, also earned postseason recognition as a GSAC and Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete.

Radcliffe and Alkazin led a deep and balanced roster that tied the program record for the longest season-opening winning streak with 12 victories prior to opening GSAC play, and the Cougars posted a 29-8 overall record for the highest season win total for the program since 1991. Despite finishing just 1 win shy of becoming the fourth team in program history to post 30 wins in a season, Azusa Pacific clinched a program-record seventh consecutive 20-win campaign in mid-October, with 9 regular-season matches remaining on the schedule.

Radcliffe, a 6-foot-1 right side hitter, was named NAIA All-American second team after she emerged as the Cougars’ primary offensive threat. She registered a team-high 596 kills (4.26/set) while also ranking among the GSAC leaders in efficiency with a .323 attack percentage. She finished third in the GSAC in total kills, both overall and in conference play, and she also ranked in the GSAC’s top 10 in attack percentage both overall and GSAC-only.

Radcliffe’s selection was her first NAIA All-American honor, and she was also a first-time All-GSAC selection. She registered double-digit kills in 35 of the Cougars’ 37 matches, and she notched 10 performances of 20-plus kills. During a run of 4 consecutive 5-set matches, Radcliffe posted 26, 22, 27, and 25 kills, and 8 of her 10 20-kill efforts came in 5-set matches, where the Cougars won 9 of 10 on the year.

Alkazin, a 5-foot-10 middle blocker, became just the fourth player in Cougar history to earn NAIA All-American honors in consecutive seasons, was a third-team selection in 2010. She posted a team-best .347 attack percentage, which ranked seventh in the GSAC, and she trailed only Radcliffe in kills with 333 (2.38/set). Her 106 total blocks was the eighth-highest total among GSAC players, and she collected 255 digs as an every-rotation player.

Alkazin was in double-digits in kills 14 times, including a career-high 18 kills with only 1 error in Azusa Pacific’s 5-set win over No. 8-ranked Taylor (Ind.) University. She also reached double figures in digs 9 times and posted a career-high 18 digs in another 5-set win, an Aug. 28 visit to Westminster (Utah) College.

Hanna, who missed a 2-and-a-half month stretch that lasted through the end of the regular season, returned to the court for the NAIA Tournament, where she posted back-to-back efforts of 15 kills and 13 kills in the Cougars’ defeats to Columbia (Mo.) and Lewis-Clark State (Idaho). Hanna earned Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete recognition by maintaining a grade point average of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale after achieving junior academic status. She was also 1 of 20 players named GSAC Scholar-Athletes.

Azusa Pacific head coach Chris Keife became Azusa Pacific’s all-time coaching wins leader in 2010, his seventh season at the helm of the Cougar volleyball program, moving past Lori Kildal with a 5-set win Sept. 25 over GSAC rival Vanguard.