MOUNT VERNON – Cornell's all-everything outside hitter Kathleen O'Connor has been named to the 2013 Division III All-America First Team by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
Cornell junior libero Kylea Weber, of Mount Vernon, was also recognized Tuesday as an AVCA Honorable Mention All-American. She joins O'Connor as the only players to garner All-America recognition in the history of Cornell volleyball.
O'Connor is the first Cornell student-athlete to claim first team All-America honors in a women's team sport. The Waukegan, Ill., native earned honorable mention status in 2011.
"I am so happy for Katie," Cornell head coach Jeff Meeker said. "She has worked extremely hard over the past four years to develop her game and leadership skills. What a great honor for Katie to cap an amazing career, and a great honor for our program that symbolizes the progress we have made."
The All-America awards will be presented Wednesday, Nov. 20, at the NCAA Division III Women's National Championship banquet in Holland, Mich. The Division III national quarterfinals begin Thursday, Nov. 21.
O'Connor was among 14 players chosen to the All-America First Team. A complete list of honorees can be found at 2013 Division III AVCA All-America Teams.
"It is exciting for our team to have two All-Americans," Meeker said. "Kylea put together an amazing season anchoring our defense and serve receive. She is a great competitor and works so hard on the court to help our team be successful."
O'Connor's award culminated an unparalleled four-year career on the Hilltop, during which she guided the Rams to three consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament, back-to-back championships in the Midwest Conference, a 2011 Iowa Conference Tournament title, and a glossy 93-38 overall record.
The 2013 MWC Player of the Year and a First Team All-Central Region performer, O'Connor ranked eighth nationally this season in points (5.0 pps) and 17th in kills (4.16 kps), both school records. The powerful 6-foot spiker hit .251 with 440 kills, 388 digs (3.66 dps), 73 total blocks (0.69 bps) and 43 service aces (0.41 aps).
O'Connor was named Sports Imports/AVCA Division III National Player of the Week on Oct. 8, becoming the first Ram to receive the award. She ranks among the active Division III career leaders in kills (2nd, 1,743), attack attempts (third, 4,863) and kills per set (ninth, 3.78 kps). O'Connor is the school-record holder in all three categories. She stands second all-time at Cornell in serve attempts (1,465), third in aces (185), fourth in digs (1,393) and fifth in total blocks (247).
O'Connor registered a conference-best 17 double-doubles (kills-digs) her senior season. She tallied double-figure kills 25 times, including a season-high 24 at fourth-ranked Emory. O'Connor had 21 kills at MWC runner-up St. Norbert, and 20 at previously-ranked Coe.
O'Connor is the program's only four-time first team all-conference volleyball performer. She gained Player of the Year honors the past three seasons, and named IIAC Freshman of the Year in 2010. O'Connor is an eight-time conference Performer of the Week.
Weber picked up her first All-America accolade after an outstanding season in the back row. She ranked 10th nationally with an MWC-best 6.01 digs per set. Weber notched 625 digs, good for fourth place on Cornell's single-season list. She recorded a season-best 35 digs in back-to-back matches against Illinois Wesleyan and Culver-Stockton.
Weber served at a 91.9-percent clip with 39 aces. She committed only 21 errors on 622 reception attempts, for a 96.6-percent success rate.
Weber was voted First Team All-MWC and First Team All-Central Region. Four times she was selected MWC Defensive Performer of the Week.
With still one season to go, Weber already owns Cornell's career record for digs with 1,848. She is the only Ram to collected 600 digs in back-to-back seasons.
The Rams finished 28-4 overall, 10-0 in the league under MWC Coach of the Year Jeff Meeker. Cornell carried a No. 20 national ranking into the NCAA Tournament, where it fell in the first round to No. 6 St. Benedict. The team's 87.5 winning season winning percentage is the highest in school history.