Posted: Dec 12, 2012 8:49 AM by KOMU 8 Sports
Updated: Dec 13, 2012 3:25 PM
COLUMBIA -- Mizzou volleyball junior Lisa Henning was honored by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) as a third-team All-American, as announced by the AVCA on Wednesday. This year marks the second straight season that Henning has been named to the All-America third team and she is second Tiger ever to land on one of the three AVCA All-America teams in back-to-back seasons, joining former setter Lindsey Hunter, now an assistant coach at Mizzou, who did so in 2004 and 2005. Henning is the first ever Tiger to earn All-America honors in both her sophomore and junior seasons.
"Now that I have had a little bit of time to look back on the season and reflect a little, I am very happy with how my game progressed," Henning said. "I thought I incorporated a lot of elements this year that have really helped me become a better all-around player. I learned a lot and grew a lot as an athlete. I think I was chosen as an All-American last year because I was a great attacker, but this year I felt that coaches around the country really recognized the strides I took as a complete player. My coaches and teammates played a big part in that transformation, so I want to give them a huge thanks. I can't say enough about the people that I have the chance to play with every day."
The All-America nod comes after Henning was selected to the All-SEC first team and the AVCA All-South Region Team earlier this year. Henning earned third team honors after leading the SEC in kills per set (4.64) and points per set (5.28). That accomplishment comes a year after she led the Big 12 in kills per set and points per set in the team's final year as a member of that conference in 2011. Henning's numbers were even better in SEC play as she averaged 4.75 kills per set and 5.34 points per set while hitting .252 despite getting 554 more balls than the next-best attacker on the team (Whitney Little, 385).
"Obviously this is great for the program, but in all honesty I am really excited for Lisa," head coach Wayne Kreklow said. "Out of necessity, we asked Lisa to take on a much larger role for our team this season and I can't say enough about what she did for us. Last year, she was somewhat one-dimensional, but this year she made a lot of strides - her back row play improved as one of our primary passers, her blocking was much better and she served tough all year. She was forced to grow a lot as a player and I think she will have a chance to really make a huge jump next season."
Henning finished the season with 506 total kills, good for the fourth-best total in program history in a single season while her 4.64 kills per set average is the second-best total in school history and a rally-scoring era program record. Coupled with her school-record 523 kills last season, Henning is the first-ever Tiger to post back-to-back 500-kill seasons and she holds two of the Tigers' four 500-kill seasons in the program's history.
Another reason for her first team honors was that Henning was not just a great attacker this season - she was a great all-round player. In fact, she posted 12 double-doubles (11 coming in SEC play) while averaging 2.66 digs per set, 0.73 blocks per set with 24 aces. Henning set two Mizzou program records last season as she now has a program-record 20 matches with 50 or more attacks and her 11 in 2012 are the single season school record. She also had nine 20-kill matches in 2012, the second-best total in program history while her 14 career 20-kill matches are fourth in program history.
The first team All-South Region selection for Henning comes just one week removed from being named to the All-SEC first team.