Dec. 17, 2008
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - University of Tennessee sophomore Nikki Fowler has become the ninth All-American in Lady Vol volleyball history, as she was named to the American Volleyball Coaches (AVCA) Honorable Mention All-America list, the organization announced on Wednesday.
"I am very glad that the rest of the country sees and recognizes the contributions that Nikki has made to our program," UT Head Coach Rob Patrick said. "This award is a testament to her work ethic and constant drive to improve in every facet of her game. She played at an extremely high level all year and I could not be more proud of what she was able to accomplish this season. For her to take on such a huge role as a sophomore, not only offensively, but passing and defensively as well, is not an easy thing to do, but she handled it better than we could have ever asked her to."
After having just two All-Americans in the first 45 years of the program, the Lady Vols have now had at least one selection in four of the past five seasons. Fowler joins an impressive group of former UT players that includes Beverly Robinson (1982), April Chapple (1984), Michelle Piantadosi (2004), Kristen Andre (2004, 2005), Julie Knytych (2004, 2005), Amy Morris (2004, 2005), Yuliya Stoyanova (2005, 2006) and Sarah Blum (2006).
A member of the AVCA All-South Region Team and the only unanimous selection to the 2008 All-SEC First Team, Fowler finished her sophomore campaign ranked second in the conference with 3.80 kills per set. For the year, she led UT in kills (427), kills/set (3.62), attacks (1139), points (493.0) and points/set (4.18).
The Dallas, Texas, native also ranked second on the squad with 24 aces, third with 278 digs (2.36/set) and fourth with 77 blocks (0.65/set). Fowler reached double-digits in kills in 22 of 32 matches, leading the team on 22 occasions. She is currently third in the UT career record book with 9.57 attack attempts per set and eighth with 3.44 kills per set after two years at Rocky Top.
A complete list of the 2008 AVCA All-America selections can be found at http://www.avca.org/awards/divisional-/division-one-all-america