Nov. 5, 2009
By Cameron Harris, Assistant Media Relations Director
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - For the second straight season, University of Tennessee junior outside hitter Nikki Fowler has been named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District IV First Team, as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America on Thursday. The Dallas, Texas, native will move on to the national ballot where she attempt to become the program's second academic All-American in four years.
A business major, Fowler currently holds a cumulative GPA of 3.82. Since arriving at Rocky Top three seasons ago, she has launched an all-out assault on the Tennessee record book and already ranks among the top-10 in program history in both kills per set (3.47) and attacks per set (9.73). She also became the 17th player in school history to reach the 1,000 kills mark earlier this season and needs just 56 more attacks to break into the top-10 in that category as well.
In 2009, she leads the Lady Vols with 302 kills, 3.51 kills per set, 865 total attacks, 10.06 attacks per set, 361.5 points and 4.20 points per set. The 2008 All-SEC First Team member has led the Lady Vols in kills in 16 of their 23 matches this season, accumulating double-digit totals in 17 contests as well. She has also taken her defensive play to another level in 2009, as she ranks second on the squad with 3.20 digs per set and 275 total scoops. The 6-2 junior has a team-high 10 double-doubles this year, including seven straight, to increase her career total to 28.
The award gives the Lady Vols five players in as many seasons that have earned academic all-district honors. Fowler first accomplished the feat last season, just a year after Jena Berg earned second-team laurels. In 2006, Kelsey Fautsch claimed a spot on the first team en route to third-team All-America honors, while Kristen Andre was named to the second team in 2005.
The Orange and White will look to build on a pair of hard-fought road victories last weekend when it welcomes Mississippi State to Rocky Top at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6 and takes on Alabama at 1:30 p.m. two days later. Both matches will take place in Thompson-Boling Arena with live video and stats available at UTLadyVols.com.
The first 200 fans to arrive on Friday will receive a free Lady Vol reusable grocery tote as UT hosts a Turn Big Orange Green Night. Representatives from the Knoxville Recycling Coalition, Ijams Nature Center and Make Orange Green will be in attendance. Fans can also receive free admission on Friday if they donate a book for the Pi Beta Phi Sorority and Tennessee Athletics Department Book Drive. All books donated will go to either Beaumont Elementary School or the Knox County Public Library and all monetary donations will be given to the First Book Organization.