(Posted December 9, 2002)

Huntingdon, PA - Juniata College senior middle hitter Niki Mueller (Bishop Guilfoyle/Altoona) was named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-America first team, while sophomore setter Carli Dale (Cochranton/Cochranton) received second-team All-America recognition. It was the first All-America recognition that either player had earned in their careers.

The duo was tabbed as AVCA Mid-Atlantic all-region members and Commonwealth Conference first-team all-stars earlier this month. Mueller was chosen as the Commonwealth Conference player of the year.

Mueller, who earned all-region recognition in her junior year, and was an all-conference selection as a sophomore and junior, and was tabbed as the conference rookie of the year as a freshman, has enjoyed her finest season on College Hill in her senior campaign. She has recorded career-highs in kills (446) and hitting percentage (.389) and topped the 100-block plateau for the second-time in her career. This season she has recorded 15 or more kills on 11 occasions, topping the 20-kill mark twice this season, with her season and career-high coming in a 25-kill performance against Indiana (Pa.). Mueller has averaged 3.81 kills and nearly one block per contest. She has had a hitting percentage of .450 or better in 14 matches this season.

Dale has improved on a freshman season in which she was chosen as the region freshman of the year, as well as earning all-conference accolades. This season, the sophomore has passed out 1,558 assists, the seventh-highest single-season total in school history. Dale posted her first career "double-double" against the defending National Champion LaVerne, as she dished out 60 assists, with 12 kills and 11 digs. She has bettered 40 assists on 24 occasions, has recorded more than 50 helpers 12 times, and has reached 60 assists in four matches. Her season-high of 68 assists came in a five-game win against Indiana (Pa.). Dale is also second on the team in digs with 315 and third in serve aces with 42. She also leads the starters in hitting percentage, posting a mark of .417.

Both All-American's have also raised their level of play in the recent NCAA Tournament. In three tournament matches, Mueller had 42 kills and seven blocks, with a hitting percentage of .580. She is averaging 4.6 kills per game in the postseason, compared to the 3.8 she averaged during the regular season, which was the best average in the conference. Dale is passing out 15 assists per game in the NCAA Tournament, up from her average of 13.3 during the regular campaign. She also added 22 kills to the Eagle offense, along with 25 digs.

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