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Courtesy: Dennis Snyder

Broncos Dominate in MAC Year-End Awards

Courtesy: Sean Fagan, Assistant Director of Media Relations
Release: 11/15/2012
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CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Mid-American Conference announced the recipients of its volleyball year-end awards, and the Western Michigan Broncos took home a major hardware haul as four players earned recognition from the conference. It was announced that Terin Norris was named the MAC Setter of the Year, Lena Oliver the Defensive Player of the Year, and Stephenee Yancy the MAC Freshman of the Year; in addition, Norris, Oliver, and senior Jessica Brown earned First Team All-MAC honors, and Yancy was named to the MAC All-Freshman Team.

Norris's Setter of the Year honors comes on the heels of her 2011 performance, when she earned the MAC Freshman of the Year award. Norris led the MAC and ranked 11th in NCAA Division I in assists with an average of 11.64 assists per set, and directed the Bronco offense to MAC-leading averages in kills and assists, and ranked second in attacking percentage. Earlier this season, Norris, moved into the top-10 in career assists at Western Michigan, and currently sits in eighth place on the list. Norris's Setter of the Year honor is the fourth time in the last five seasons at that a Bronco has earned Setter of the Year honors, and her First Team All-MAC nod is her second straight.

Oliver finally broke through to take home the Defensive Player of the Year honors in her junior season after having led the conference in digs in each of her first two seasons. Oliver ranks second in overall digs in the MAC in 2012 with an average of 5.03 digs per set, and ranks second in digs in MAC matches with an average of 5.07 digs per set. Her last weekend of the season pushed her back near the top of the MAC standings in the category; Oliver recorded 50 digs in her last seven sets to bump her average, as she helped the Broncos to their outright MAC West title and 20-win total, and helped her to her second straight First Team All-MAC honors.

Yancy burst onto the scene for the Broncos late in the season, and has helped provide both offensive and defensive sparks for the Broncos from the middle blocker position. Yancy was especially impressive in conference matches this season, recording an average of 2.35 kills per set and hitting away at a .286 clip. In addition, Yancy ranks second on the Broncos in blocks with an overall average of 0.71 blocks per set in 2012, and the Broncos' best team blocking performances of the season all came after Yancy entered the starting line-up.

Brown earns First Team All-MAC honors for the third straight season, and the senior leader has been a dominant offensive presence for the Broncos in 2012. Brown is the only player in the conference to rank in the top-10 in hitting percentage (5th - .301) and kills (9th - 3.28), and recently moved into second place on the career kills list at Western Michigan. With 1,479 career kills already under her belt, Brown can become just the second player in program history to reach 1,500 career kills with 21 more scores. Brown led the Broncos in blocks with an 0.77 blocks per set average, as well.