Dearien Cements Junior Campaign with All-America Honors
LEXINGTON, Ky. (December 8, 2014) -- For just the third time in program history, a John Brown volleyball player has earned All-America accolades, the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced as it awarded the All-America teams, as selected by the NAIA Volleyball All-America Selection Committee.
After picking up AVCA-NAIA All-Region honors last week, junior outside hitter Audrey Dearien continues to pull in the awards as she was extended AVCA-NAIA All-America and Tachikara-NAIA All-America honorable mention honors today.
“Blessed and special are two words that come to mind in light of Audrey being named an honorable mention All-American,” said first-year head coach Ken Carver. Her teammates and I are truly blessed to be able to have Audrey as a part of our volleyball team and family. She is a special player who definitely is an impact-caliber player on many fronts. As a coach, I believe Audrey may very well be my first All-American player whom I’ve had the privilege of coaching, so I know how rare and unique the opportunity is that I have had this season.
“I know I’ve mentioned in more than one press release as to how proud I am of and for Audrey, but it truly is the case. Coming into this season, Audrey was facing coming back from an injury that cut short her sophomore campaign and she was facing the reality of playing for a new coach as well. Both of those circumstances could have posed significant challenges for any player to have a good season, let alone a season that would be worthy of All-America consideration. Yet, Audrey rose to meet those challenges and performed at an exceptional level throughout the entire season.”
The decorations come as Dearien is now just the third player in program history to earn the distinctions. She joins Juliana Todescan and Amber Squires, which both earned honorable mention status twice in their careers while also picking up a single third team award apiece.
“It’s been eight years since the JBU volleyball program had its last All-America player,” Carver added. :Her honor speaks to how special her performance was during her junior season. There are two things that make me even more excited. First, Audrey still has one more season with our program and I know she will be committed to working even harder to make her senior season even better. Secondly, while Audrey had a very good year, there are still some small things she can do to be even better next year. Knowing Audrey’s personality and work ethic, she will be hungry to work on those things to be an even more effective and efficient player for our team come next year and help lead our team to even greater levels of success.”
Dearien, a native of Frisco, Texas, was one of 52 players named to the honorable mention team. Already an All-Conference first team and AVCA-NAIA All-Region first team honoree, Dearien led John Brown to a 22-11 overall record and a spot in the Sooner Athletic Conference quarterfinals. Dearien paced JBU in terminations for the second time in three seasons (416) and averaged 3.50 kills per set. Dearien also set career highs in service aces (62), digs (370), kills per set and digs per set (3.10). Named the SAC Player of the Week back on Oct. 16, Dearien terminated a season-high 28 balls in JBU’s win over Texas Wesleyan on Oct. 11 and scooped up a career-high 25 digs in the Golden Eagles’ loss to Texas Wesleyan in the SAC tournament quarterfinals on Nov. 14. Against Wayland Baptist (Texas) on Oct. 25, she eclipsed the 1,000-kill plateau en route to a 15-termination game.
The Sooner Athletic Conference was highlighted with four mention on the All-America teams including Shahala Hawkins of Wayland Baptist (Texas) making the first team while Audrey Macy of Oklahoma City and Chelsey Driskill of Wayland Baptist joined Dearien on the honorable mention squad.