2002 AVCA NAIA National Player of the Year

12/10/2002

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Houston Baptist University's Elele Ekadeli Named AVCA NAIA National Player of the Year

National American's Fernanda Vivancos MirandaCOLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) is pleased to announce Houston Baptist University senior outside hitter Elele Ekadeli as its 2002 AVCA NAIA National Player of the Year.

Ekadeli averaged 5.80 kills per game in 2002 and became the first player in school history to reach 700 kills in a season (761). She recorded 149 kills in seven matches during the NAIA National Tournament, including a tournament-leading 5.96 kills per game. Ekadeli broke her own single-season mark for kills in the first match of pool play, then capped her career off by breaking the school career record in the title match against National American. At the conclusion of the tournament, she was named the most valuable player of the NAIA National Tournament.

Ekadeli, who paced the Huskies to a 47-3 record and national runner-up finish this season, completed her career with 1,389 kills, breaking the previous school mark of 1,381 set by Kim Lowe from 1992-94 and 1996. Her 1,018-career digs places her ninth on the career charts. Ekadeli is the first HBU player to register over 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in a career.

Ekadeli is the first Huskie athlete in school history to earn AVCA NAIA National Player of the Year honors, as well as just the second volleyball player to be named to the AVCA NAIA All-America team twice. She earned both the Red River Athletic Conference and NAIA Region VI Player of the Year in 2002.

"We are so thrilled for Elele who was very deserving of this award," HBU Head Coach Kaddie Platt said. "She was certainly a dominating player, but more that, she is a very special young lady who would be the first to credit her teammates for her honors. It is a great tribute to her and to our entire team that the nation recognized her in this way."

The formal presentation of the award to the 2002 AVCA National Players of the Year will be made Dec. 20 in New Orleans at the AVCA All-America/Player of the Year banquet. The banquet, which will take place at the New Orleans Marriott Hotel, is held in conjunction with the 2002 AVCA National Convention and NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball National Championship.

- AVCA -

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