Three Rams net AVCA all-region honors
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Volleyball - Thu, Nov. 14, 2013

MOUNT VERNON – Cornell's volleyball team made more history Thursday morning by landing three players on the 2013 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III All-Region Teams.

Senior outside hitter Kathleen O'Connor and junior libero Kylea Weber were selected to the All-Midwest Region First Team. Junior middle blocker Taylor Dicus received honorable mention accolades.

O'Connor and Weber are the first set of Ram teammates to earn first team all-region status in the same season. O'Connor was also a first team choice in 2011, and named honorable mention last year.

The Rams were among four schools in the Midwest Region with multiple honorees on the 14-player first unit. Elmhurst led the way with four selections, UW-Whitewater three and UW-Stevens Point two.

O'Connor, the AVCA National Player of the Week on Oct. 8, ranks second among all active Division III players with 1,732 career kills and third with 4,824 attack attempts, both school records. The Waukegan, Ill., native this season stands seventh nationally at 5.03 points per set, and 17th in kills with a 4.17 average.

O'Connor, a three-time conference Player of the Year, enters the national tournament with 429 kills, 375 digs (3.64 dps), 71 blocks (0.69 bps) and 43 service aces (0.42 aps) in 103 sets played. She headlined this year's All-Midwest Conference Teams, placing in the league's top 10 in four statistical categories. O'Connor is a four-time first team all-conference performer, and earned honorable mention all-America recognition in 2011.

Weber grabbed her first all-region award, one day after she was tabbed First Team All-MWC for the second consecutive season. A four-time MWC Defensive Performer of the Week, Weber ranks 10th in Division III at 6.01 digs per set. She is already the program's career digs leader with 1,830.

Weber has registered 607 digs on the year. The Mount Vernon native is serving at a 91.9-percent clip with 38 aces, second on the team. Weber is the only player in Cornell history to record 600 digs in back-to-back seasons.

Dicus, of Mount Vernon, was among six players chosen to the honorable mention team. The 6-foot-2 Dicus stands 11th nationally at 1.20 blocks per set. She has 124 total blocks on the year, and a school-record 427 stuffs in 96 career matches.      

Dicus leads all Cornell front-line players with a .338 hitting percentage. She is second on the team with 273 kills (2.65 kps). Dicus was honored on the All-MWC First Team for the second consecutive season, to go along with first team honors in the Iowa Conference in 2011.

The 20th-ranked Rams (28-3), regular-season and tournament champions in the MWC, open NCAA Tournament play today with a regional quarterfinal match at 12:30 p.m. against sixth-ranked St. Benedict (26-3) in St. Paul, Minn.