LEXINGTON, Ky. – Three University of Kentucky volleyball players have earned All-America distinction including senior Sarah Rumely who claimed second-team All-America honors it was announced by the American Volleyball Coaches Association Wednesday. Senior BriAnne Sauer and junior Sarah Mendoza captured honorable mention honors for the first time in their careers.
After a 29-5 season and a trip to the Sweet Sixteen, Kentucky is honored with its first trio of All-Americans in school history. Previously, Marsha Bond and Karolyn Kirby acquired the distinction together in 1983 and then a season ago Rumely and Queen Nzenwa were honorable mention selections for just the second pair of Wildcats to earn All-America honors in the same season.
Rumely becomes the fourth Wildcat in school allure to attain second team All-America distinction and the first since Jane Belanger in 1993. Rumely is just the third player in school history to earn All-America honors in multiple seasons following Bond and Nzenwa as the others.
“Sarah has worked unselfishly hard during her career for the betterment of herself and this program,” Skinner said. “This season we excelled offensively and this honor is well deserved.”
Rumely helped direct an offense that ranked tops in the Southeastern Conference and among the top-10 leaders in the nation. Kentucky charted 14.74 kills per frame which led the SEC and ranked seventh in the nation. Rumely herself dished out 11.87 assists per set which also topped the conference and was the eighth highest total in the country. The Wildcats had five players average over two kills per stanza and the squad accounted for a .279 hitting percentage which ranked 10th in the nation.
The senior from New Palestine, Ind., is a versatile player as well as she broke into the UK all-time career chart list in block assists and digs on top of breaking the school record for career assists (5,703) and aces (165). Rumely’s career assists clip also ranks as the fifth most in Southeastern Conference history.
For the first time in their careers Sauer and Mendoza are All-Americans becoming the eighth and ninth members of Kentucky’s list of All-Americans in school history.
“BriAnne and Sarah had a major impact on our success this year,” Skinner said. “Their games went to new levels and it showed on the court.”
Sauer, a senior from Louisville, Ky., captured the single season school record with 580 digs surpassing the previous clip set at 563 and ranked in the top three in the conference all season long with an average of 4.60 scoops per set. Sauer also will round out her career with the second highest total in career digs and the ninth most in SEC history with 1,634. This season she also tallied a career-high 35-dig performance against Tennessee to become the first UK player to pick up 35 or more scoops in a match in three years. For her career, Sauer had 28 career matches with 20 or more digs – with 11 of them coming in her final season.
Mendoza had a break-out junior season leading the SEC with 4.12 kills per set, ranking 40th in the nation in that category. Mendoza charted 519 kills on the season which is the fourth highest total in a single UK season. The junior from Winter Park, Fla., struck for 20 or more kills on a career-best five occasions in her junior season and set a career-high mark with 26 against Louisville. Earlier in the year she became just the 13th player in school history to reach over 1,000 kills in her career. Mendoza’s .238 hitting percentage and 63 blocks are also career-high totals. She averaged a team-best 4.61 points per frame.
Stay tuned to UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information regarding the UK volleyball team.