FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Postseason accolades continued Wednesday for University of Arkansas volleyball player Jasmine Norton as she was named the 2009 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) South Region Freshman of the Year. Norton was also one of six players in the region selected as an Honorable Mention All-Region performer.Norton joins Libby Windell as the second player in program history to earn Freshman of the Year honors at the regional level. Windell was the District 4 Freshman of the Year in 1999; the AVCA switched to region selections the following season. The Rowlett, Texas, native also garners the first regional recognition for the Razorback volleyball program since Denitza Koleva earned All-Region honors in 2006."We’re very excited about this level of recognition for Jasmine," head coach Robert Pulliza said. "It goes a long way in showing the kind of season she had for us this year. Any time an athlete is in the mix for regional and national awards, it’s something to be very proud of. Jasmine is a great player and we’re, obviously, very happy for her."After earning six SEC Freshman of the Week honors throughout the regular season, Norton was selected as the 2009 SEC Freshman of the Year and a member of the All-SEC Second Team. During her freshman campaign, she had 11 matches with 20 or more kills, nine of which came during league play, and posted an SEC-best 4.44 kills per set during conference play.Norton tallied a career-high 29 kills in a Nov. 8 match against then-No. 19 LSU at Barnhill Arena. In a Nov. 15 victory at Alabama, Norton registered a career-high 21 digs to go along with 24 kills, including the match-winning putaway to cap her performance. She is one of two players in the SEC with a 20-20 effort this season. In a showcase of her well-rounded game, she closed out the season with 16 consecutive double-digit kill totals and eight consecutive double-double efforts.Entering this weekend of Regional matches in the 2009 Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship, Norton is fifth in the country among freshman with 4.12 kills per set and fourth among freshman with 4.68 points per set. As an All-Region award winner, Norton is now eligible for selection to an AVCA All-America team. Those honors will be announced Wednesday, Dec. 16.
In addition to teams from the SEC, the South Region is composed of the Atlantic Sun Conference, Southern Conference, Sun Belt Conference, Southland Conference member Central Arkansas and independents NJIT and Savannah State. Log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com, for continued coverage of Razorback volleyball.
Download: All-Region Teams.pdf