2009 AVCA NAIA National Player of the Year
Jill Baker - Azusa Pacific University
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 8, 2009) - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) is pleased to announce Azusa Pacific University's Jill Baker as the 2009 Nfinity/AVCA NAIA National Player of the Year.
The talented outside hitter led the Cougars to a 28-9 campaign in 2009, the fourth-highest single-season win total in program history and the most wins for a season in which the Cougars played fewer than 40 matches. Baker and Azusa Pacific compiled a 15-5 mark in the highly-competitve Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC), marking the program's best league finish (third) since 1994. The squad earned the fifth seed in the 2009 NAIA Volleyball National Championships, won it's assigned pool at the event and advanced to the tournament's quarterfinals. Baker is also the only player program history to be a part of eight NAIA Tournament wins.
Tabbed the 2009 GSAC Player of the Year, Baker led the conference in total kills, kills per set and passing percentage, while ranking in the league's top-ten in digs. She was the Cougars' first-ever recipient of the league's top honors and is only the second Azusa Pacific athlete to earn all-conference accolades for four consecutive seasons.
Baker broke her own Azusa Pacific single-season kills record in 2009, recording 617 kills. She owns the Cougars' single-match, single-season and career kills records, and she ranks in the career top-20 in every major statistical category. She finished fourth in career digs (1,570), sixth in aces (132), 15th in solo blocks (57) and 17th in total blocks (263). She is one of just three players in program history to surpass 1,500 career kills and digs, and her 2,345 career kills makes her the only player to reach and pass 2,000 career kills.
In addition to taking home Nfinity/AVCA NAIA Player of the Year honors for the first time, Baker is a three-time First-Team AVCA NAIA All-American, becoming the only Cougar in program history to earn three First-Team nods.
The formal presentation of the 2009 Nfinity/AVCA NAIA National Player of the Year will be made Dec. 18 in Tampa, Fla., at the AVCA All-America/Players of the Year Banquet presented by Zamst, held in conjunction with the 2009 AVCA Annual Convention and NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball National Championships.