Nov. 13, 2012
IRVING, Texas -
Senior Tyler Henderson and Jessica Adams were named to the Conference USA First-Team All-Conference squad, junior Kellie Culbertson claimed a spot on the All-Conference Second-Team and freshman Ashley Hooper earned a spot on the All-Freshman Team, the league announced today.
Henderson becomes only the second player in league history to be named C-USA First-Team All-Conference in four different seasons. She ranks second in the nation in kills per set with a 5.09 clip and is third in points with 5.58 per frame. Along with being the Tulsa all-time kills leader, Henderson is also the C-USA career leader in total points and second in league history in total kills.
"Tyler had another tremendous year," commented Head Coach Steven McRoberts. "It's obvious by leading the league in kills, top 10 in hitting percentage, number one in points per set. Additionally, she is number two nationally in kills per set and number three in points per set. She has done a great job with her jump serve too, and that has become a weapon for us. She is up there in our team in blocks per set. She has definitely improved her game in blocking. I'm proud of her to make first team all conference again, and she is definitely deserving of the honor."
Adams, a two-time first-team selection, leads the league with a 5.15 digs per set average, which also ranks 46th in the nation. The first player in school history with more than 500 digs in four straight seasons, Adams is the Tulsa career leader in digs with 2339, which is the third best mark in league history. She also is fourth in school history with 115 service aces during her career.
"You look at it and see that she is the team leader and conference leader in digs per set, and that stands out in its self," McRoberts said. "One thing that sometimes gets over looked is she is so solid in our serve receive game. That helps our team so much offensively to stay in a rhythm, it helps our setters have multiple options and really sets the tone in most of our matches for the team. She has a lot of volleyball left to play, and hopefully she can end her career as the all-time Conference USA digs leader. She is a player that always wants to get extra work in. She always asks to get some extra passing and defense in. It is fun to see those types of players get rewarded by being considered first-team all-conference."
This marks the second consecutive season that Culbertson has been on the second team. Culbertson ranks 28th nationally in service aces per set with a 0.42 average. Culbertson ranked in the top-20 in the league in kills per set with 2.69 and points per set with 3.31, and top-15 in digs per set with a 3.35 clip.
"As far as all around play, Kellie brings it every match," McRoberts said. "She is another one like Jess that some of the small things that she does don't show up on the stat sheet. She is a great serve receive passer. She always has a nose for the ball defensively and always seems to get a big kill for us. It seems like any time she goes back to serve, she is capable of a big run for us, and that becomes another offensive weapon for our team. Kellie is a very competitive player, as you won't find another person on game day that is more into it than she is. I'm proud of her to get this accomplishment and look forward her to continue to grow as a player, not only this year but into her senior year."
Hooper hit .246, the 20th best clip in the league, and averaged 1.81 kills per frame. Hooper also paced the Hurricane with 74 total blocks and a 0.76 blocks per set average.
"Coming into this season, we weren't sure on how ready she would be as a freshman to play," McRoberts stated. "We felt like she needed some work to come in and help us, and she did that. She is a big jumper and a real athletic player. She caught onto the system pretty fast and has had some really good matches for us in conference play. She is an explosive player. We are expecting her to get better and better, and we are proud of her to get this honor. I hope this will motivate her to continue to work, and hopefully she will see what her potential is, because other coaches see it. We think we have a bright future with not only Ashley, but with our freshmen class that we have this year."
Tulsa will host the 2012 C-USA Volleyball Championship, where it will host SMU in the semifinals on Friday, November 16, in a noon tilt at the Donald W. Reynolds Center.
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