Feb. 21, 2013
Rice's volleyball program hosted its annual banquet on Wednesday night at Tudor Fieldhouse. Senior Nancy Cole and Junior Megan Murphy received the Hally Beth Poindexter Award as co-MVPs of the 2012 season.
Cole was named Rice's first three-time All-American and was a First Team All-C-USA pick in 2012. She finished her career 10th on Rice's all-time kills list, and twice was named C-USA Offensive player of the week in 2012. Cole hit .327 on the season, which ranked second in C-USA and had 3.53 kills per set, which ranked seventh in the league.
Murphy, the other co-MVP pick was the second Rice player to be named C-USA Setter of the Year, leading the league in assists per set with 11.04. Murphy was named First Team All-C-USA and was an All-America selection. She set a C-USA record with four consecutive Setter of the Week awards in 2012. Additionally, Murphy was a C-USA All-Academic pick.
Senior Laurie McNamara received the Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the Commitment Award. McNamara was named a CoSIDA Academic All-District pick and to the C-USA All-Academic team. A team captain, she was selected to the All-C-USA Second Team and ranked 14th in the league in hitting percentage with a .252 mark.
Kimberly Vaio was selected as Newcomer of the Year, posting 288 digs and 2.62 per set as a defensive specialist. She helped the Owls rank second in C-USA in digs per set, and played in 110 sets for the Owls. She had 13 matches with double digit digs, and had a career-high 23 digs against Tulsa (Sep. 30).
Noelle Whitlock was named Most Improved, after coming back from an injury that caused her to miss 2011. She had 10 matches with double digit digs in the last 11 matches of the season, and had 77 of her 80 kills in the last 20 matches of the season.
Sophomore Daniela Arenas received the Hard Hat, the only award given by the coaching staff, which goes to the hardest worker in practice throughout the season. Arenas led the Owls in digs with 3.96 per set, which ranked 9th in C-USA. She had 25 matches of double digit digs and had a career-high 27 digs against Tulsa (Nov. 9).
With the exception of the Hard Hat, all the awards were voted on by the scholar-athletes on the squad.
The Owls celebrated a second-place finish in C-USA, Rice's best standing in the league since joining in 2005.
Hally Beth Poindexter Award (Team MVP): Nancy Cole & Megan Murphy
Scholar-Athlete Award: Laurie McNamara
Newcomer of the Year: Kimberly Vaio
Most Improved: Noelle Whitlock
Commitment Award: Laurie McNamara
Hard Hat: Daniela Arenas