WMU News

Two volleyball Broncos earn all-conference honors

Nov. 27, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- WMU volleyball standouts Zakiya Pope and Ashley Ritter were selected to the
2001 All-MAC Second Team. It was the second consecutive all-Mid-American Conference recognition for both Broncos.

Ritter is a junior setter from St. Charles, Ill., and was also chosen for the All-MAC Second Team in 2000. Pope, a senior middle blocker from East Lansing, Mich., was a first-team pick last season and was also the league's 2000 season and tournament most-valuable player.

WMU finished the regular season with consecutive wins over Ball State and Northern Illinois, the top two teams in the conference, for a 10-8 MAC record and a berth in the eight-team MAC Tournament. In the tournament's first round, the Broncos dropped a tought 3-2 decision at Bowling Green. WMU finished with an overall season record of 15-11.

The all-league teams were announced by the Mid-American Conference on Nov. 21. Ball State and Northern Illinois each had four players placed on all-league teams. Bowling Green, Miami and Western Michigan each had two players selected. The remaining four all-conference choices went to standouts from Akron, Eastern Michigan, Kent State and Toledo.

Ball State will return only one of its four all-conference players next season, junior Katie Butts. BSU loses to graduation outside hitter Megan Hammons and middle blockers Susie Meshberger and Julie Zylka, each of whom has won multiple all-league honors. Northern Illinois will return all four of its all-conference players, including sophomore setter Jenny Bowman, who was also selected as the MVP of this year's tournament. In her first season, Bowman was an honorable mention team member and was named MAC freshman of the year.

All-MAC First Team
Jenny Bowman, Northern Illinois
Megan Hammons, Ball State
Kelly McCullough, Miami
Caty Rommeck, Bowling Green
Rena Widboom, Northern Illinois
Julie Zylka, Ball State

All-MAC Second Team
Jennifer Eaton, Miami
Lindsey Kretzmann, Toledo
Katie Kuzior, Akron
Camila Olaio, Eastern Michigan
Zakiya Pope, Western Michigan
Ashley Ritter, Western Michigan

All-MAC Honorable Mention Team
Katie Butts, Ball State
Kristin Gamby, Bowling Green
Sarah Kutschinski, Kent State
Tera Lobdell, Northern Illinois
Susie Meshberger, Ball State
Tenisha Wilkins, Northern Illinois

In other MAC volleyball news, Northern Illinois defeated Ball State, 3-0, on Saturday, Nov. 24, to win the 2001 MAC Championship and an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. Northern Illinois will face No. 16 ranked Northern Iowa in the tournament's first round.

For more information, visit the Broncos on the Web at <www.wmubroncos.com>.

Media contact: Geoff Brown, 616 387-4138, geoffrey.brown@wmich.edu

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