(Posted November 25, 2002)

Huntingdon, PA - Juniata College placed three players on the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-Region Team, as well as having four players earn Commonwealth Conference All-Star honors.

Senior Niki Mueller (Bishop Guilfoyle/Altoona) was an all-region selection as well as first-team all-conference pick. Joining her on the all-region team is setter Carli Dale (Cochranton/Cochranton) who also earned first-team all-conference accolades. Junior libero Johanna Holtan (Fargo North/Fargo, N.D.) grabbed an all-region selection along with a second-team all-conference nod. Finally, freshman Katie Laucks (West York/York) was a second-team all-conference selection, and received honorable mention recognition on the all-region team.

Mueller was also honored as the Commonwealth Conference player of the year.
Mueller is in the midst of her finest season as a member of the Blue and Gold. The senior has knocked out a team and conference-high 432 kills, with a hitting percentage of .386. She also has a team-high 98 blocks. Mueller has earned all-conference honors each of her four seasons, and this is her second all-region selection. The senior captain has averaged 3.79 kills and .87 blocks per game this season. The senior has also raised her play in the NCAA Tournament. Mueller had 28 kills and a .615 hitting percentage in Juniata's two Mid-Atlantic Regional matches.

Dale has passed out 1,512 assists this season, just over 13 assists per game. That assist total led the conference. She also has a team-leading .419 hitting percentage, with 42 aces and 308 digs. Dale also earned a "player of the week" nod from the Commonwealth Conference. This is the second all-region honor that Dale has garnered, last season she was recognized as the region freshman of the year.

Holtan has excelled this season at the libero position. She has been the main passer for the Eagles, and has recorded a career-high 638 digs. The 638 digs are the second-highest single-season total in school history. Holtan is averaging 5.45 digs per contest, which led the Commonwealth Conference. The junior was named to two different all-tournament teams during the regular season She tallied at least 20 digs on 19 occasions, and has had 30 or more digs twice.

Laucks wasted no time making on impact on the collegiate level. The freshman is third on the Eagles in kills, third in hitting percentage among the regular attackers, is second in blocks, and has added 15 aces. Laucks has pounded home 284 kills on the season, while compiling a hitting percentage of .308. She had a season-high 23 kills against Lake Superior State, and has hit better than .500 in eight matches this season. Laucks has had at least one block in 30 of Juniata's 36 matches, with her season high of seven also coming against Lake Superior State.

Juniata, ranked fifth in the final AVCA Division III poll, will take its 32-4 record into the NCAA Division III quarterfinals this Saturday when it hosts Williams College (36-5) at 7:00 p.m. in Memorial Gymnasium. The winner will move on to the national semifinals/finals on December 6-7 at a site that will be determined following play this weekend.

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Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.