Deckard and McLean Voted to Sun Belt First Team

November 17, 2004 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee senior volleyball players KeKe Deckard and Dara McLean were voted to the Sun Belt First Team as announced Wednesday by the conference office.

It is the first time in school history two Blue Raider volleyball players have been named to the first team in either the OVC or Sun Belt. The last time Middle Tennessee placed two players on an all-conference team was in 1995 when Deb Anderson and Nidza Castillo were second team selections in the OVC.

Deckard, a 5-foot-9 outside hitter, has had a phenomenal senior campaign, leading the conference with 5.23 kills per game and is ranked 13th in the nation. She is also averaging 2.49 digs per game. Deckard needs just four kills to become the first Blue Raider volleyball player in school history to record 2,000 or more kills in a career.

This is the first time in Deckard's career she has been named to the Sun Belt First Team, after being voted to the second team her sophomore and junior year. She is also a two-time Sun Belt Player of the Week selection this season.

To say someone has saved the best for last would be an appt description of senior Dara McLean. The 6-foot-1 outside hitter is averaging 4.22 kills per game is ranked third in the conference. She has notched season-high 443 kills, this season, which more than doubles her output from her previous three seasons as a Blue Raider.

McLean is a two-time Sun Belt Player of the Week selection, this year, and is the only Sun Belt player to have won the award in back-to-back weeks this season. She also proved her mettle in clutch situations by giving Middle Tennessee a key 3-2 win over eventual Sun Belt East winner Arkansas State by dropping an ace in crucial game five to hand the Blue Raiders the victory earlier in the season.

Middle Tennessee plays in the first round of the Sun Belt Tournament on Thursday as the No. 4 seed, the highest the team has ever placed, facing host and No. 5 seed New Orleans. Match time in "The Big Easy" is set for 7:30 p.m.


1st Team
Stevi Adams Sr. OH New Mexico State
Alice Borden So. MB New Mexico State
Jackie Choi So. S New Mexico State
Jennifer Cruz Sr. OH New Orleans
KeKe Deckard Sr. OH Middle Tennessee
Dara McLean Sr. OH Middle Tennessee
Amanda Schiff Sr. MH Western Kentucky
Giedre Tarnauskaite Sr. OH Arkansas State

2nd Team
Briana Akrie Fr. Libero New Mexico State
Caron Blotch Jr. S Western Kentucky
Lyndsey Broerman Sr. MH Western Kentucky
Ana-Carolina Buccini So. OH UALR
Jayne Duncan Jr. Libero New Orleans
Brittney Gregory Jr. MB North Texas
Ivana Vracar Sr. OH UALR
Jessie Wagner Jr. LS Western Kentucky

Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year: Giedre Tarnauskaite, ASU

Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year: Jayne Duncan, UNO

Sun Belt Conference Newcomer of the Year: Jackie Choi, New Mexico State

Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year: Katie Peil, Arkansas State

Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year: Mike Jordan, New Mexico State

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