All-American Duo: Albers, Havili Named Honorable Mention
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Capping off their impressive veteran-rookie 2014 campaign, senior Chelsea Albers and freshman Ainise Havili were named to the AVCA All-America Honorable Mention Team Wednesday.
The Jayhawk pair accounted for two of the 15 Big 12 players recognized on the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-America honors. Five league players were named to the first, second and third teams, while 10 more made the honorable mention list. Albers earned the distinction for the second-straight season, while Havili got the nod in her first opportunity. That makes three-straight seasons that the Jayhawks have been represented on All-America Teams.
“These two performed at a high level for us all season,” head coach Ray Bechard said. “Of course, Chelsea has for her whole career and Ainise started her career in the way we thought she could. Both of them impact the game in so many ways that they consistently made our team better – and I know those two feel like their teammates made them better. We’re proud of them. Chelsea will certainly be missed and we’re excited to have Ainise with us for the next three years.”
Making her second-consecutive All-America Honorable Mention appearance, Albers completed her four years at Kansas as one of the most versatile players in school history. In her senior campaign, Albers was a constant, tallying career-best marks for kills (343) and digs (316) in a single season. She led the Jayhawks in kills and came in second for digs and blocks (97). In her final match as a Jayhawk, Albers was everywhere as she recorded nine kills, six blocks and an impressive 20 digs.
For her career, Albers finished with 921 kills. Coupled with her 894 digs, Albers is just the seventh Jayhawk in history to post 900-career kills and 800-career digs. A Papillion, Nebraska native, she earned All-Big 12 First Team praise each of the last two seasons.
“It’s a complete honor,” Albers said. “I’ve had great teams and great teammates to push me to that level. My career has been fun because of those people. It’s been an amazing experience.”
Havili was named All-America Honorable Mention in her first opportunity. The Preseason Big 12 Freshman of the Year, Havili came close to earning the same postseason accolade, but instead landed on the Big 12 All-Freshman Team as a unanimous selection.
In her first NCAA Tournament match, Havili tallied a double-double with 54 assists and 13 digs. Her 14 double-doubles were the most by any Big 12 rookie this season and are tied for 10th-most all-time by a Jayhawk in a single season, adding to her record for all-time for assists by a Jayhawk freshman (1,332). That also moved her into 10th all-time on KU’s single-season assists list. For the season, Havili lead the Big 12 week-after-week in assists (1,332) and assists per set (11.29). Her 13 double-doubles were the most this season by a Big 12 rookie.
“It was a pretty awesome freshman-year experience and this is an honor,” Havili said. “But this is a team sport and I couldn’t have done it without my teammates. I owe it all to them. Even though we didn’t get very far, and we had our ups and downs, overall it was a good year.”
Kansas finished the 2014 season at 22-9, marking the first time since 1980-81-82 that the Jayhawks posted three-straight 20-win seasons. KU tied for second-place in the conference standings for the second year in a row and earned its third-consecutive overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.
2014 AWARDS – CHELSEA ALBERS
- AVCA All-America Honorable Mention (second-consecutive honor)
- AVCA All-Midwest Region First Team (second-consecutive honor)
- All-Big 12 First Team (second-consecutive honor)
- Academic All-Big 12 Second Team (third-consecutive honor)
- Big 12 Preseason Team
- Pioneer Classic MVP
- Villanova Classic All-Tournament Team
- Senior Class Top-30 Candidate
2014 AWARDS – AINISE HAVILI
- AVCA All-America Honorable Mention
- AVCA All-Midwest Region First Team
- All-Big 12 Honorable Mention Team
- Big 12 All-Freshman Team
- Big 12 Rookie of the Week (11/10)
- Big 12 Rookie of the Week (10/20)
- Big 12 Rookie of the Week (10/10/14)
- Kansas Invitational All-Tournament Team
- Pioneer Classic All-Tournament Team
- Jayhawk Classic All-Tournament Team
- Big 12 Preseason Freshman of the Year
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