Dec. 7, 2010
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball players Dana Vargas and Stacey Schmidt were both named to the All-West Region's First Team on Tuesday, the American Volleyball Coaches Association announced, becoming the only pair of teammates from the Big West to be honored as such.
For Vargas it marks the second straight season that she has been honored with the award and it is Schmidt's first time being awarded. The duo were also First Team All-Big West selections for the second consecutive year.
Being named to the All-West Region First Team puts Vargas is select company among Gaucho legends. Only her and Brooke Rundle (2000, 2002) have been twice honored on all-region teams during their time at UCSB.
Vargas finished the season ranked among the best setters in the nation with her 10.60 assists per set average while also setting a career-high in digs. She surpassed the 1,000 assist mark for the third time in her career. She finished third all-time in UCSB history in assists.
"Dana was more deserving this year than last year," UCSB head coach Kathy Gregory said. "She found ways for us to win games. She was much more of an attacker and she set a great offense. Every night she put us in a position to win because we didn't have the same offense as we did last year. She had to adjust when two major injuries to Leah Sully and Katey Thompson depleted our starting lineup and she was still able to lead us to victories."
Schmidt was honored by the AVCA for the first time in her Gaucho career. The junior averaged 3.00 kills per set while hitting .324 on the season. Schmidt opened the season as one of the team's starting middle blockers but moved to the right side due to injuries and was even more effective.
"Offensively, Stacey led us this year from the very beginning of the season," Gregory said. "Her hitting percentage was unbelievable and opponents knew she was the go-to hitter and she had two blockers on her most of the season. Whenever the match was on the line she was the player who received the sets. Her numbers against the nationally-ranked teams were outstanding and certainly helped her get this honor."
The AVCA will announce its All-America teams on Wednesday, Dec. 15.
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