Oliver, Brown Honored in COBRA Magazine
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - It was announced today that Western Michigan volleyball player Lena Oliver has been named among eight other student-athletes as a COBRA Magazine Preseason Player of the Year candidate, while teammate Jessica Brown was named to the magazine's All-Preseason Second-Team.
In addition to being named a Preseason Player of the Year candidate, Oliver was named to the All-Preseason First-Team.
Oliver joins Player of the Year candidates from the Big Ten, Big 12, and Big East conferences, among others, as she gets set to begin her third campaign as the starting libero for the Broncos. Oliver has collected an impressive set of accomplishments in just two years in the back row, having been named a two-time COBRA National Defensive Player of the Year and leading the Broncos in digs in each of the last two seasons.
Oliver tied a single-season program record with 700 digs in 2011, and ranked 11th in NCAA Division I with an average of 5.74 digs per set. Oliver is one of only two players in program history to have reached two seasons of 600+ digs, joining Caitlin Strimel as the only players to achieve the feat.
Brown enters her senior season as an offensive force that has been recognized at the conference and now the national level, as the two-time First Team All-MAC middle blocker will look to take the Broncos to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season. Brown ranks 14th all-time in kills at Western Michigan with 1,141, and could conceivably finish her senior season as high as second on the list. Brown led the Broncos with 366 kills in 2011 and a 3.00 kills per set average.
COBRA is a magazine that features African American volleyball players in hopes of inspiring younger African American players to play volleyball and become successful women on and off the court. The issue featuring Oliver's and Brown's honors can be found on their website.