AVCA All-America honors for Acosta, Norton

    12:09 PM, Dec 12, 2012   |    comments
    Walt Beazley
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    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) - For the second time in program history, the University of Arkansas volleyball team has garnered two All-America honors in one season with Wednesday's release by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). Razorback seniors Roslandy Acosta and Jasmine Norton have each been recognized as Honorable Mention All-America performers for their standout efforts during the 2012 season.

    With the most recent accolades, Norton becomes the first player in program history to earn two All-America honors during her career. She was previously selected following her freshman season in 2009. Overall, Acosta becomes the seventh All-American in program history.

    The Razorbacks have now collected three All-America accolades under head coach Robert Pulliza. In addition to Acosta and Norton, the list of Arkansas' All-Americans includes Jessica Field (1997), Kim Storey (1998), Sara Kincaid (2003), Roberta Tarnauskaite (2003) and Denitza Koleva (2006).

    "We are very proud of Roslandy and Jasmine for their accomplishments this season and excited for them to cap their careers as All-Americans," Pulliza said. "Being an All-American is the highest individual honor there is, but as I've said all season, the individual awards are a reflection of a team's commitment to each other. Being an All-American is not only a great recognition for the individual but also shows respect for the program we've built here at Arkansas."

    Acosta was previously honored this season as an AVCA All-South Central and All-Southeastern Conference First Team performer. Over the course of the entire season, she registered 3.15 kills per set with a .253 hitting percentage. Acosta had seven double-double performances during the year and posted double-digit kill figures in the final 15 matches of the season.

    The Vargas, Venezuela, native registered a career-high 20 kills in the Razorbacks' NCAA first-round match against Wichita State. She reset her career high in kills four times during the season. In the final 11 matches of the year, Acosta also averaged 2.72 digs per set and a career-best 20 digs in Arkansas' five-set victory over Kentucky. During the Razorbacks' non-conference schedule, she was named the MVP of the Arkansas Invitational and earned all-tournament honors at the adidas/Michigan Challenge.

    Earlier this week, Acosta signed a professional contract to play with Valencianas de Juncos of the Puerto Rico Superior League. She will be one of two former Razorbacks to play in the Puerto Rican league, joining Yarleen Santiago (1997-99) who plays for Gigantes de Carolina.

    Norton was also voted to the AVCA All-South Region First Team and earned second-team All-SEC honors. She became the third Razorback to earn three career all-region accolades and the second to garner four all-conference selections. During the year, she registered 3.65 kills per set and 3.04 digs per set. Norton led Arkansas with 16 double-doubles in 2012 and had at least 10 kills in 14 of the last 15 matches of the season.

    The Rowlett, Texas, native finishes her Razorback career as the second-most prolific attacker in program history and No. 8 on the SEC's all-time list with 1,799 career kills. Earlier in the year, Norton became just the sixth player in program history with 1,000 career kills and 1,000 career digs. She also earned 2012 all-tournament honors at the Arkansas Invitational and adidas/Michigan Challenge. Norton began the year with her third career All-SEC Preseason honors.

    The selections were made by AVCA Division I All-America Committee: Santiago Restrepo, Oklahoma; Sherry Dunbar, Indiana; Lisa Seifert, Southern Methodist; Molly Alvey, Cincinnati; Jennifer Greeny, Washington State; Craig Skinner, Kentucky; Jeff Nelson, New Mexico; and Tonya Johnson, Georgia Tech. The AVCA Awards Chair is Dayton volleyball head coach Kelly Sheffield.

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