MAC Announces Volleyball All-MAC Teams; WMU, BSU Lands Four Each

Updated 11/22/2000
CLEVELAND -- Mid-American Conference West Division champion Western Michigan and divisional runner-up Ball State highlight the All-MAC Volleyball teams, which were voted on by the leagues head coaches and announced today by the conference office. The two schools had a combined eight student-athletes who were selected to either the first-, second-, or honorable mention-team all-MAC volleyball squads.

The Broncos, who will host the MAC Volleyball tournament semifinals and championship matches on its homecourt for the first time since 1988, had two first-team, one second-team and one honorable mention honorees, while the Cardinals garnered three first-team selections and a second-team pick. Northern Illinois, a third West Division school, placed a trio of student-athletes on either of the three teams, with the West Division making up two-thirds (12 of 18) of the all-conference selections.

Named to the first-team were Ball State's Emily Sallee, Susie Meshberger and Megan Hammons, Western Michigan's Monyka Paul and Zakiya Pope, and Bowling Green's Caty Rommeck.

Sallee, a three-time first-team all-MAC choice from Muncie, Ind., led the league for most of the season in assists per game and finished the regular season second with a 14.00 average. The MACs all-time assists leader (6,234), Sallee is also second in the conference in assists per game and is one of two setters in league history to register 5,000-plus assists and 1,000-plus digs in a career. Sallee, last years MAC Tournament MVP, is also seventh in NCAA Division I history in career assists and is well on her way to shatter the NCAA career assists-per-game average.

Fellow teammate Meshberger, a native of Linn Grove, Ind., ended the regular season with a .397 hitting percentage, which led the league and ranked eighth nationally. A second-team all-MAC selection last year as a sophomore, the middle attacker is third in the league in kills per game and eighth in blocks per game.

The third Cardinal to capture first-team accolades is Hammons, one of the MACs top offensive threats. One of two second-team all-MAC performers in 1999 to be named to the first-team this season -- the other was BSUs Meshberger -- the West Liberty, Iowa, native eclipsed the 500-kill plateau Tuesday in the Cardinals quarterfinal match with Akron, becoming only one of two players in MAC history to register back-to-back 500 kill seasons. Hammons leads the MAC in kills per game (4.97) and also ranks in the top-15 in hitting percentage.

One of two Broncos on the all-MAC first team, Paul ranks in the top-15 in two offensive statistical categories -- hitting percentage and kills per game. The senior outside hitter from St. Louis, Mich., helped Western Michigan to its first regular season title since 1988, and the Broncos are also the first team other than Ball State and Northern Illinois to claim the West Division title since the league formed divisions in 1997.

Her junior teammate and native of East Lansing, Mich., Pope, is one of the conferences top blockers and most accurate attacker, hitting at a .349 clip at the end of the regular season, which is third in the league. The middle blocker is also in the top-10 in blocks per game and in the top-15 in kills per game.

The league's final first-team honoree is also the MAC's blocks per game leader in Bowling Greens Rommeck. The junior middle completed the regular season as the leader in blocks (1.63) and also ranked in the top-10 in hitting percentage and kills per game. Five times the Sterling Heights, Mich., native was honored as the MACs Defensive Player of the Week and once as the leagues Offensive Player of the Week.

Named to the all-MAC second team are Akron's Julie McDivitt, Ohio's Amber Merrill, Central Michigan's Jennifer Mitchell, Western Michigan's Ashley Ritter, Northern Illinois' Jen VonderHaar and Ball State's Julie Zylka.

Capturing honorable mention all-conference honors are Northern Illinois' Jenny Bowman and Mandy Swick, Kent State's Shiva Davis, Miami's Kelly McCullough, Western Michigan's MMyia McQuirter and Bowling Green's JoAnna Papageorgiou.

The six first-year student-athletes who grabbed MAC all-Freshman honors are Northern Illinois' Jenny Bowman, Ohio's Laura Hageman, Central Michigan's Mollie Hunter, Akron's Sandy Lewis, Bowling Green's Susie Norris and Miami's Susan Poll.

The six members of the first-team all-MAC squad are now finalists for the leagues Player of the Year award, while one of the six members of the all-Freshman team will be named Freshman of the Year. Those two awards, plus the MACs Coach of the Year, will be announced Wednesday, Nov. 29. The leagues head coaches will vote on all three awards following this weekends tournament.

First Team
Name	School	Pos.	Yr.	Hometown (High School)
*Megan Hammons	Ball State	OA	Jr.	West Liberty, Iowa (West Liberty)
*Susie Meshberger	Ball State	MA	Jr.	Linn Grove, Ind. (South Adams)
Monyka Paul	Western Michigan	OH/R	Sr.	St. Louis, Mich. (St. Louis)
Zakiya Pope	Western Michigan	MB	Jr.	East Lansing, Mich. (East Lansing)
Caty Rommeck	Bowling Green	M	Jr.	Sterling Heights, Mich. (Henry Ford II)
&#Emily Sallee	Ball State	S	Sr.	Muncie, Ind. (Burris)

Second Team
Name	School	Pos.	Yr.	Hometown (High School)
*%Julie McDivitt	Akron	S/OH	Sr.	Windham, Ohio (Windham)
Amber Merrill	Ohio	OH	Sr.	St. Louisville, Ohio (Licking Valley)
Jennifer Mitchell	Central Michigan	MH	Sr.	Lake Odessa, Mich. (Lakewood)
Ashley Ritter	Western Michigan	S	So.	Lockport, Ill. (Lockport Township)
Jen VonderHaar	Northern Illinois	MB	So.	Hibbing, Minn. (Hibbing)
*Julie Zylka	Ball State	MA	Jr.	Muncie, Ind. (Delta)

Honorable Mention
Name	School	Pos.	Yr.	Hometown (High School)
Jenny Bowman	Northern Illinois	S	Fr.	Maple Grove, Minn. (Osseo)
Shiva Davis	Kent State	MB	Sr.	Shiloh, Ohio (Crestview)
Kelly McCullough	Miami	RS	So.	Hudson, Ohio (Hudson)
MMyia McQuirter	Western Michigan	OH	Jr.	Grand Rapids, Mich. (Ottawa Hills)
JoAnna Papageorgiou	Bowling Green	RS	Sr.	Rock Island, Ill. (Pleasant Valley)
Mandy Swick	Northern Illinois	LS	Sr.	Coffeen, Ill. (Hillsboro)

All-Freshman Team
Name	School	Pos.		Hometown (High School)
Jenny Bowman	Northern Illinois	S		Maple Grove, Minn. (Osseo)
Laura Hageman	Ohio	MB		Cleveland, Ohio (St. Joseph Academy)
Mollie Hunter	Central Michigan	RS		Trenton, Mich. (Trenton)
Sandy Lewis	Akron	OH		Mentor, Ohio (Mentor)
Susie Norris	Bowling Green	LS		Bascom, Ohio (Hopewell-Loudon)
Susan Poll	Miami	MH		Grand Rapids, Mich. (East Kentwood)

&First-team all-MAC selection in 1999
*Second-team all-MAC selection in 1999
#First-team all-MAC selection in 1998
%Honorable mention all-MAC selection in 1998