Dec. 16, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Lauren Cook became the first Bruin to earn AVCA National Freshman of the Year honors on Wednesday, while sophomore Amanda Gil (second team) and senior Kaitlin Sather (honorable mention) were each named to the AVCA All-America Team.
Cook, who was also named AVCA Pacific Region and Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, is the first UCLA player to earn the National honor since the award's inception in 2002. Gil and Sather both received their first All-America honors and bring UCLA's AVCA All-America award total to 42 since 1981.
The awards will be presented on Friday at the AVCA All-America/Players of the Year Banquet presented by Zamst at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Fla.
Cook led the Bruins in assists per set (10.69), placing second with 16 double-doubles, third with 21 aces and fourth in digs per set (2.44). The freshman, who was also named to the All-Pac-10 honorable mention and Pac-10 All-Freshman squads, surpassed the 50-assist mark four times, recording a season-best 56 assists at Oregon on Nov. 21. Cook became just the fifth UCLA player to earn AVCA National Player of the Week accolades on Sept. 15, also earning Pac-10 POW honors.
Gil led the Bruins in blocks per set at 1.57, also placing first among Pac-10 players and second in the nation. An All-Pacific Region and Pac-10 first-team honoree, Gil had 22 matches with at least five blocks, posting a pair of double-doubles. She had 14 kills and 10 blocks against Oregon on Oct. 23 and recorded 15 kills and a season-high 11 roofs against Baylor (Dec. 5). Gil also led the Bruins in hitting percentage at .360, which was 30th in the nation. She swung at a .400 clip or better 13 times, posting 2.37 kills per set (third on team) and 12 double-figure kills matches.
Sather had a memorable senior season that saw her become the 12th player in UCLA history to post 1,000 kills and digs, conclude her career at 11th on the Bruins' career kills list and earn her first All-America, All-Region, All-Pac-10 first-team and Pac-10 Player of the Week honors. Sather paced the Bruins in double-doubles with 17 and was second with 2.86 kills and 3.05 digs per set. During Pac-10 play, she led the squad with 3.15 kps. Sather had a team-best 22 double-figure kills contests, finishing her career with 1,501 kills. She also had 22 double-figure digs contests.