CLEVELAND - Following up on a Mid-American Conference Tournament championship and a trip to the NCAA Tournament second round, the Bowling Green volleyball team had four players named to the 2012 Academic All-MAC Team, tying for the most in the conference. Juniors Laura Avila, Lindsey Butterfield, Paige Penrod and Kaitlyn Skinner were all named to the team.
Five other Falcons were named Academic All-MAC honorable mention. Seniors Cassie Berning, Kari Galen and Leah Shaw earned special recognition along with juniors Libby Dachenhaus and Ashley Dunn.
"I'm very proud of all nine of our student-athletes who were mentioned," BGSU volleyball coach Danijela Tomic said. "It shows the commitment that our players have to academics. That's the reason they come to Bowling Green State University – to get a great education, to graduate with honors and to win championships."
The Academic All-MAC honor is for student-athletes who have excelled in athletics and academics. To qualify, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.20 cumulative GPA and have participated in at least 50 percent of the contests for that particular sport. First-year students and junior college transfers in their first year of residence are not eligible for the award.
Avila maintains a 4.0 grade point average in health science. She was one of only two players to start all 33 matches this year, playing as the team's primary setter. She was named to the Purdue Active Ankle Challenge All-Tournament team and currently has the fifth-most assists in program history with 2,902. Her 1,333 assists in 2012 were the third-most in school history. Avila also had 36 digs in a five-set win over Oakland, just two shy of the program record.
Butterfield holds a 3.85 grade point average in biology and was also named Capital One Academic All-District by the College Sports Information Directors of American (CoSIDA) this year. She was named first team All-MAC and was selected to the MAC All-Tournament team. Butterfield also garnered a MAC East Offensive Player of the Week award and a MAC Scholar-Athlete of the Week honor. She recorded three double-doubles on the season (at least 10 kills and 10 digs) with all of those performances coming in the MAC Tournament or NCAA Tournament.
Penrod has a 3.27 grade point average in pre-early childhood education. She was a first team All-MAC performer and was named MAC Tournament Most Valuable Player. Penrod was named to the All-Tournament teams at the Purdue Active Ankle Challenge and the BYU Nike Invitational, while grabbing one MAC East Offensive Player of the Week honor and a MAC Scholar-Athlete of the Week nod. Her 491 kills were the eighth most in a season in program history and she ranks just outside of the top 10 in school history in career kills, aces and digs with a year left to play. She ranked third in the MAC in kills and second in aces during the year.
Skinner has a 3.77 grade point average in biology. She was named to the All-Tournament team at the Indiana Invitational and ranked second in the MAC with 1.19 blocks per set. Her 124 block assists were the ninth most in a season in school history. Skinner posted at least 10 blocks in a match three times, including once in a five-set MAC Tournament semifinal victory over Western Michigan. She improved to 1.47 blocks per set in the postseason.
Bowling Green went 22-11 in Tomic's first season as head coach of the Falcons, finishing second in the MAC in the regular season and winning the program's second MAC Tournament ever. BGSU defeated Yale for its first ever NCAA Tournament victory before losing to No. 1 ranked Penn State in the second round. The Falcons return five starters in 2013 and seven of its top nine players from a season ago.