UT junior Nikki Fowler
Dec. 9, 2009
By Cameron Harris, Assistant Media Relations Director
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - After helping the University of Tennessee volleyball team reach the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the seventh time in school history, senior Chloe Goldman and junior Nikki Fowler were both rewarded for their terrific seasons, being named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-South Region Team on Wednesday.
The award marks the second time in her career that Fowler has picked up the honors, while Goldman takes home all-region accolades for the first time after earning honorable mention status last season. They will both advance to the ballot for national AVCA awards, which will be announced next week in conjunction with the 2009 NCAA Volleyball Championships in Tampa, Fla.
The 2009 Southeastern Conference Libero of the Year and All-SEC First Team member, Goldman shattered the Tennessee record for career digs, finishing with a total of 1,755 to break the previous record by 281 and place her fourth in the conference record book. She also finishes with the top digs per set average in program history with 4.37 scoops per set during her four years at Rocky Top.
The Monterey, Calif., native led the SEC in 2009 with 568 digs and 4.73 digs per set, becoming the first player to record three consecutive seasons with 500+ digs while donning the Orange and White. Goldman also holds the three highest single-season dig totals in school history with her 2009 tally ranking second behind only her 628 scoops in 2007.
A 6-2 outside hitter, Fowler was Tennessee's best all-around player this season, finishing the year with 16 consecutive double-doubles. The Dallas, Texas, product was also named to the All-SEC First Team after staking claim to the league's offensive player of the week a record four times, including three consecutive weeks from Nov. 9-23. She has now earned the honors seven times in the past two seasons, tying her for the most in a career with Florida's Aury Cruz.
During the 2009 campaign, Fowler led the Lady Vols with 459 kills, 3.79 kills per set, 1,268 attacks, 542.0 points and 4.48 points per set. She currently ranks 12th on Tennessee's career kills chart with 1,256 and will need 526 in her senior season to break the school record. Her accomplishments aren't limited to the hardwood, however, as she was also named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District IV First Team for the second straight season.
The SEC was well represented in the AVCA South Region awards with 12 of the 20 players honored coming from the league, including region freshman of the year Jasmine Norton of Arkansas. Nine players found their way to the all-region team, while three more claimed honorable mention accolades.