Kelsey Safranek And Sara Sternard Earn All-Horizon League Honors
Nov. 14, 2011
INDIANAPOLIS – UIC junior outside hitter Kelsey Safranek (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove South) was selected to the all-Horizon League team, while freshman middle hitter Sara Sternard (Clarendon Hills, Ill./Westmont) was named to the League’s Newcomer team, as selected by the Horizon League coaches. The conference office announced the teams Monday afternoon.
“It’s no surprise that Kelsey and Sara received the Horizon League honors,” head coach Katie Schumacher-Cawley said. “They both work extremely hard, and have been major contributors to this team. They make players around them better, and I look forward to seeing what they do this weekend and during their careers here at UIC. They are great representations of UIC volleyball.”
The 2011 season marks Safranek’s third-consecutive season to earn an all-Horizon League honor. As a freshman (2009), Safranek was selected to the all-Newcomer team, followed by being named to the all-Horizon League team as a sophomore in 2010.
Safranek sits atop of the Horizon League in number of kills with 455 at a clip of 4.42 per set. She has also chipped in 236 digs and 27 blocks, three of which were solo blocks. Safranek was selected as the Offensive Player of the Week Sept. 12 after her performance at the Dunn Hospitality Invitational, where she logged 55 kills in the three matches, including a (then) career-high 28 kills against Southeast Missouri State.
Safranek bested her career-high kills as she hammered down 33 kills against Youngstown State on Nov. 5.
Sternard has knocked down 153 kills at a clip of .278, which places her eighth in hitting percentage for the league. The newcomer was named the Offensive Player of the Week Sept. 26 upon leading her team to back-to-back wins with a .538 hitting percentage on eight kills against Loyola (Sept. 23) and a .600 clip with 12 kills versus Green Bay Sept. 24.
Sternard has also logged 73 blocks on the season, 18 of which were solo blocks.
Milwaukee’s Kerri Schuh was named the Horizon League Player of the Year. Taylor Root of Valparaiso earned the honor of Defensive Player of the Year and Milwaukee’s Kayla Price garnered the Newcomer of the Year honor.
Safranek, Sternard and the rest of the Flames roster begin plan in the Horizon League Championship as the No. 5 seed and are slated to face No. 4 Valparaiso Friday at 4:30 p.m. (CT) inside the Klotsche Center in Milwaukee, Wis., as regular season champion team, Milwaukee, plays host to the event.