STANFORD, Calif. – Kathryn Plummer has been named the AVCA Pacific North Region Player of the Year, while a total of six Stanford women's volleyball players have earned all-region honors, the American Volleyball Coaches Association announced today.
Joining Plummer on the 14 player team were senior Tami Alade, juniors Audriana Fitzmorris, Jenna Gray and Morgan Hentz, and sophomore Meghan McClure. Cardinal head coach Kevin Hambly was tabbed the Pacific North Region Coach of the Year. Stanford and Minnesota led all teams with six selections to the first team of their respective regions.
Stanford has had at least four all-region players for six consecutive seasons. Players named to the all-region teams are now in contention to become 2018 AVCA All-Americans.
Plummer and Fitzmorris are collecting their third career all-region honors. Gray, Hentz and Alade are being recognized for the second time in their careers, while McClure has earned her first career honor.
A native of Aliso Viejo, California, Plummer is a two-time AVCA Pacific North Region Player of the Year. She ranks 11th in the nation in kills per set (4.67) and sixth points per set (5). The junior is also sixth in the conference with 0.31 aces per set. Her eight double-doubles ties for the team lead and the outside hitter was just named back-to-back Pac-12 Player of the Year last week. She has registered 20 or more kills in seven matches, including a team season-high 25 in a four-set win over Minnesota, and has hit .300 or better in 13 matches. In August, she became the 19th Stanford player to eclipse 1,000 career kills.
Alade, who was an honorable mention AVCA All-American last season, earned her first career All-Pac-12 Conference accolades this year. The Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada native is the only conference player hitting over .400 this season. Her .404 clip is the ninth-best output in the country. She leads the nation with 1.79 blocks per set as Stanford leads country as a team with 3.38 blocks per set. The senior set a program record in the rally-scoring era with 15 blocks in a win over Colorado on Nov. 2. She has tallied six or more blocks in 15 matches this season.
Fitzmorris, who switched from middle blocker to opposite this season, was an AVCA Second Team All-American a year ago. The junior is sixth in the Pac-12 with a .353 attack percentage and seventh with 1.16 blocks per set. Her hitting percentage is the highest in the league of any non-middle blocker. The Overland Park, Kansas, native has tallied five or more blocks in 10 matches this season and recently moved into the top 10 at Stanford in career blocks (476). Her .342 career hitting percentage would be the ninth-best in program history.
Gray, a first team All-American in 2018, was recently tabbed the Pac-12 Setter of the Year for the second consecutive season. The Shawnee, Kansas native paces the league and is second nationally with 12.36 assists per set. She is also second in the conference with 0.37 aces per set this season. As a team, the Cardinal is the only Pac-12 squad hitting over .300 on the year at .311 – the third-best mark in the nation. The junior, who earned all-conference recognition for the second time, is currently sixth in program history in career assists (3,904) and her 11.06 career assists per set average would be fourth all-time.
A repeat Pac-12 Libero of the Year winner, Hentz was a first team All-American as a sophomore. She leads the team with 4.72 digs per set and has just 13 reception errors on the season. Her 4.72 digs per set would be the fifth-best single season mark in school history. The junior was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week five times this season. The Lakeside Park, Kentucky, native has registered double-digit digs in 30 of 31 matches this season, reaching the 20-dig plateau on seven occasions.
McClure was the only sophomore to land on the Pacific North Region first team. She earned her first career all-conference honor this season after landing on the all-freshman team a year ago. She is third on the team in kills (291) and points (336.5), and second in digs (248). The outside hitter is tied for the team lead with eight double-doubles on the season. She has posted double-digit kills in 14 matches and hit .300 or better on 11 occasions. She registered a career-high 16 kills in a four-set win over Minnesota on Sept. 9.
Hambly, who is now in his second season on The Farm, is 60-5 overall with the Cardinal and 39-1 against Pac-12 teams. Stanford became the first Pac-12 team to go undefeated in conference play since 2003 this season and carries a 28-match winning streak into the postseason. The Cardinal also boasts the nation's longest current home winning streak at 34.
Stanford, which earned the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, will play host to No. 8 seed Penn State, No. 16 seed Washington State and Washington for the regional rounds, Friday and Saturday at Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal will face the Cougars at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN3 following a 3 p.m. match featuring the Nittany Lions and Huskies on ESPNU. The winners will meet on Saturday at 7 p.m. PT for a chance to advance to the Final Four in Minneapolis, Minnesota.