Dec. 4, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. – After leading the University of Tennessee Lady Vol volleyball team to its school record fifth-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, juniors Kelsey Robinson and Ellen Mullins were honored with All-South Region accolades by the American Volleyball Coaches Association on Tuesday afternoon.
Robinson garnered the honors for the second-straight season, while Mullins – who was named an All-South Region Honorable Mention – earns the recognition for the first time of her career.
The duo helped lead the Lady Vols to a third-place finish in the Southeastern Conference this season with a 15-5 mark in league play, while finishing the campaign at 22-8 overall. UT made its eighth NCAA Tournament appearance in the past nine seasons and landed two players on the All-SEC squad.
Robinson earned her second-straight First Team All-SEC nod, while sophomore outside hitter Tiffany Baker garnered Second Team All-SEC honors.
After becoming the school’s first SEC Player of the Year in 2011, Robinson led the Big Orange in almost every offensive statistical category and finished the season ranked second in the conference in points per set (4.84) and third in kills per set (4.22). A six-rotation player, Robinson also ranked 14th in the SEC in digs per frame (3.50).
The junior led the league in double-doubles (22) for the second-straight season and finished the year with the highest single-match kill total in the SEC. She put down a career-best 29 kills in a five-set victory over then-No. 10 Iowa State on the opening weekend of the season.
A 6-foot-2 captain, Robinson did a number on the Tennessee volleyball record books this season. With her first kill of the third set at LSU (10/10), the junior became one of just 18 Lady Vols in program history to eclipse the 1,000-career kill mark. Just nine days later, she posted nine digs at Texas A&M, making her just the fifth Tennessee player in school history to record 1,000 career kills and 1,000 career digs. Robinson, who is the only Tennessee player to record five 20/20 matches since 2001, currently ranks fourth in the UT record books in with a career kills per set average of 3.60.
The Bartlett, Ill., native led UT in kills per set, service aces (21) and points per set, while ranking second on the squad in digs per set and third in total blocks (73) in 2012. Robinson ranks 31st in the nation in points per set and 37th in the country in kills.
Mullins, a native of Nashville, Tenn., earns the all-region honor for the first time of her career after a breakout junior campaign. Appearing in every match as the starting libero, Mullins shattered her single-season totals by averaging an impressive 4.55 digs per set, a mark that ranks third all-time in the rally scoring era at Tennessee. She finished the season with the second-most digs (541) and the fourth-highest scoops per set average in the SEC.
With one season to go, Mullins also upped her career average tremendously to 3.67 digs per set, placing her third all-time in the Tennessee volleyball annals. In addition, Mullins also became the 13th Lady Vol to surpass the 1,000-career dig total this season, notching 28 in a five-set win at then-No. 13 Florida. Her 1,161 career scoops currently ranks eighth in the UT record books.
Behind Mullins, the Lady Vols ranked fourth in the conference in digs per set (16.14) and finished the league slate ranked second in SEC matches with 17.05 scoops per game. Mullins posted some of her top numbers in 2012, including a career-best 34-dig output in a five-frame win over Missouri. That mark stands as the seventh-highest single-match dig total in school history, the second-most in the 25-point rally scoring era at UT and was the sixth-highest single-match total in the SEC this season. Just five days later, she posted a 32-dig match to help Tennessee defeat the LSU Tigers on their home court. Mullins recorded nine matches with 20 or more digs in 2012.
The SEC had 11 student-athletes named to the South Region Team. Florida’s Ziva Recek was named South Region Freshman of the Year.
2012 AVCA All-South Region Team
Roslandy Acosta, Arkansas
Whitney Billings, Kentucky
Taylor Brauneis, Florida
Darcy Dorton, College of Charleston
Lisa Henning, Missouri
Alisia Kastmo, Texas A&M
Stephanie Klefot, Kentucky
Chloe Mann, Florida
Jasmine Norton, Arkansas
Ziva Recek, Florida
Kelsey Robinson, Tennessee
Jordyn Skinner, Western Kentucky
Melanie Stutsman, Western Kentucky
Tangerine Wiggs, Florida
South Region Freshman of the Year
Ziva Recek, Florida
All-South Region Honorable Mention
Megan Devine, ETSU
Christine Hartmann, Kentucky
Lindsey Miller, Texas A&M
Ellen Mullins, Tennessee
Allie Sawatzky, Texas A&M
Kate Van Dyke, Georgia Southern
South Region Coach of the Year
Travis Hudson, Western Kentucky