Volleyball - Fri, Nov. 16, 2007
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BARBOURVILLE, Ky. – More honors were bestowed on the Union College volleyball team as David Nicholson and Monica Moreland was named the NAIA Region XII Coach and Player of the Year, respectively, the organization announced Friday.

Stephanie Pateman and Marlee Cooper, a pair of juniors, were also selected to the All-Region XII First Team.

Nicholson, in his third season at Union, is the first Lady Bulldogs head coach to win a region coach of the year award in the history of the program. Nicholson, also the Appalachian Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, directed Union to the program's first conference championship behind a 16-2 mark in the AAC. Union was picked to finish third this season in the conference race.

Under his guidance, the Lady Bulldogs have amassed a school record 32 victories during the regular season. Union added another win to the record in the AAC Tournament. The Lady Bulldogs bested the 1993 squad and their 28 wins. This year's team is close to the school record for best winning percentage at 0.702 (33-14). The current record was set in 2003, at 0.703 (26-11).

Moreland (Louisville, Ky.) adds the region award to the AAC Player, Freshman and Setter of the Year awards after an outstanding season. She accounted for a school-record 1,454 assists in 138 games in her first season at Union. Moreland broke the record set by Amanda Bowling, which was established last season at 1,427. She also led the conference in total assists through the regular season while her 10.5 assists per game ranked second.

In her first season at Union, Moreland had at least 21 assists in every match, with 30-plus assists in 31 matches, 40 or more assists 19 times and three more with at least 50. She recorded a season-best 59 assists against Brescia (Ky.) University on September 15. Her other two 50-plus assists matches were in conference play, 50 against Milligan (Tenn.) College and 52 versus Montreat (N.C.) College.

She was named the NAIA Region XII Setter of the Week five times and garnered the AAC weekly honor five times as well. Unfortunately, a knee injury on October 29 ended her season prematurity.

This marks the second year in a row that a Lady Bulldog swept the Region XII and AAC Setter of the Year awards. Bowling collected both honors last season.

Pateman (Weyburn, Canada) earned her first All-Region XII nod after leading the Lady Bulldogs with a school-record 566 kills this season. She bested her previous season high of 445 which came last season. Pateman, also an All-AAC selection, averaged 3.3 kills per game with 13 matches with ten-plus kills and four with 20 or more, which includes a 24-kill performance against the University of the Cumberlands. Her high in conference play was 19 kills two times, against Milligan (Tenn.) College and UVa-Wise.

She was named the Region XII and AAC Player of the Week on September 17 when she notched 86 kills for the week with 22 in the Brescia contest. Pateman also ranked sixth in the conference’s kills per game category.

Cooper (Bloomington, Ill.) garnered her second-straight Region XII First-Team selection after she accounted for 403 kills this season. The spot on All-Region XII team comes after another All-AAC First-Team selection. Cooper etched her name to the Union record book when she recorded her 1,174th career kill at the Union College Volleyball Tournament in September. She moved past Angelica Varani and her record set in 2002 and pushed the record to 1,387 after completion of the AAC Tournament. In the 13 conference contest she played in, she had eight matches with ten or more kills which includes a season-best 16 versus conference-foe Bluefield (Va.) College September 8.

Next for Union is the Region XII Tournament this weekend, hosted by King College in Bristol, Tenn. Union, the No. 3 seed, will battle Mountain State (W.Va.) University, the sixth seed, Friday at 6 p.m. The winner advances to play Bryan (Tenn.) College in a semifinal contest Saturday at noon. The Region XII Championship contest is scheduled for 3 p.m. with the winner advancing to the NAIA Volleyball National Tournament.
NAIA Region XII Coach of the Year

David Nicholson

NAIA All-Region First Team

Monica Moreland - Union - NAIA Region XII Player of the Year

Stephanie Pateman - Union

Marlee Cooper - Union

Robin Renfroe - Bryan

Jennifer Sloan - Mountain State

Nataha Viers - UVa-Wise

Ryann Tillman - King

Morgan Machen - King

Krystal Smith - Brescia

Katie Tinsley - Indiana Univ. Southeast

Stacey Flatt - Indiana Univ. Southeast

Gabby Claxton - Bryan

NAIA All-Region XII Second Team

Hannah Wheeler - Asbury

Rachel Howard - Brescia

Kathryn Rawley - Bryan

Joanna McGill - Covenant

Terra Hollinden - Indiana Univ. Southeast

Venessa Stauble - Indiana Univ. Southeast

Shelby Newman - Indiana Univ. Southeast

Allison Baumgartner - Montreat

Jennifer Baltrym - Mountain State

Jennifer Lilly - Mountain State

Britney Lawson - UVa-Wise