WALLA WALLA, Wash. - For the third time in her three seasons with the Whitman College women's volleyball team, Jill Huber has earned a spot on the All-Northwest Conference Second Team.
Whitman also placed a second player on the all-conference squad. Senior Megan Kanaga bounced back from an injury-shortened junior season to earn Honorable Mention recognition.
A quick look at NWC statistics shows that Huber, a 5-foot-11 middle blocker from Enumclaw, Wash., could have very easily made the seven-player First Team.
Huber finished among the top four in four of the NWC's key statistical categories. She was No. 2 in blocks, averaging 1.11 per game, and No. 3 in kills, averaging 3.88 per game. She was No. 4 in both hitting percentage (.269) and service aces, averaging .56 per game.
Except for hitting percentage, Huber's numbers have gone up in each of her seasons at Whitman.
Huber closed out junior season in strong fashion, slamming 25 kills while hitting .365 in a four-game victory over Linfield. She also had 16 digs and five blocks. Earlier in the season, Huber blitzed Linfield for 28 kills and a .404 hitting percentage.
Other season highlights for Huber included a 20 kills and 20 digs against Pacific, and 23 kills with a .439 hitting percentage against Whitworth.
"Jill has been an outstanding player and team leader," Whitman coach Dean Snider said. "She is a person of quality character. I have great respect for her, and I look forward to working with her again next year."
Kanaga, a 6-foot-1 middle blocker from Tahoma High School in Maple Valley, Wash., was a great source of consistency for the Missionary offense this season. She posted double-digit numbers in kills in 18 of Whitman's 23 matches.
During one four-day stretch midway through the season, Kanaga collected 21 kills and 18 digs against Eastern Oregon, combined 16 kills with eight digs at Puget Sound's expense, and had 18 kills and 14 digs against Pacific Lutheran.
Kanaga averaged 3.31 kills per game, the seventh-best mark in the NWC. She finished the season with 53 blocks, trailing only Huber among Whitman players.
"Megan had a great season for us," Snider said. "We will greatly miss her next year."
Huber and Kanaga weren't the only Missionaries to finish among the conference statistical leaders. In her first season at Whitman, sophomore setter Erin Wade (Yakima, Wash. / Davis HS) averaged 11.16 assists per game, the third-best mark in the NWC. Sophomore Laura Williams (Eugene, Ore. / Churchill HS) was No. 5 in service aces, averaging .52 per game.
Junior outside hitter Denise Kirstein (Spokane, Wash. / Ferris HS) was sixth in NWC in kills, averaging 3.40 per game. Kirstein also led the Missionaries in digs, averaging 3.43 per game. Junior defensive specialist Liz Nelson (Seattle, Wash. / Holy Names Academy) averaged 3.22 digs, while Huber averaged 2.99 digs. Elly Smith (Spokane, Wash. / East Valley HS), also a junior defensive specialist, added 2.42 digs per game.
Dave Holden, Whitman Sports Information, 509 527-5902