Ferreira and Trivunovic Repeat as First Team NAIA All-Americans
COLUMBIA - The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced the 2011 Tachikara-NAIA Volleyball All-America Teams, as selected by the NAIA Volleyball All-America Selection Committee. Columbia's Paula Ferreira and Vesna Trivunovic earned First Team honors while Aleah Hayes took Honorable-Mention accolades.
Ferreira, a junior setter, is the only setter to receive first team honors in 2011. The Rio de Janeiro, Brazil native was a third team selection as a freshman and a first team selection in 2010 as well as being named NAIA National Player of the Year. She was the 2011 American Midwest Conference (AMC) Setter and Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. Paula was the national player of the week twice this season and led the Cougars in assists with 1,450, averaging 11.33 per set. She totaled 195 kills, 44 service aces, 60 blocks and 291 digs while helping Columbia to a 39-4 record. Ferreira was named to the National Championships All-Tournament team on Saturday following the conclusion of the National Championship match.
Trivunovic was also a first team member for the second straight season. The senior from Zrenjanin, Serbia, Vesna was named to the AMC First Team after Columbia finished the regular season with a 16-0 record against conference foes. Vesna logged a team high 526 kills in 43 matches for an average of 3.93 kills per set. She also led the team in aces with 62 and chipped in 33 blocks and 260 digs.
Aleah Hayes, who transferred to Columbia in January, earns honorable-mention honors in her first season as a Cougar. The Ozark, Mo. native played Libero for Columbia in 2011 and earned first team all-conference honors as well as AMC Co-Libero of the Year accolades. Aleah had a team high 509 digs this season, an average of 3.64 per set while appearing in all 43 matches. The junior also chipped in 18 service aces, 53 assists and 10 kills from the back row.
The Cougars wrapped up their season on Saturday, finishing third in the NAIA National Championships. It's the 13th time Columbia has finished in the top five at the tournament.