Senior Kim Turner was named MWC Co-Player of the Year for the second year in a row.
Nov. 19, 2003
SAN DIEGO, Calif. -
For the second year in a row, Utah volleyball player Kim Turner has been named Mountain West Conference Co-Player of the Year. In addition, senior libero Jackie Morrill was named the conference's Top Libero, while sophomore Shelly Sommerfeldt was named to the 14-member all-conference team.
Turner, who was named MWC Player of the Week four times this season alone, shares the top honor with Colorado State setter Melissa Courtney and becomes the first four-time all-conference honoree in MWC history. Turner led the conference in hitting percentage (.434) and points per game (5.61), and ranked second in kills (4.53) and blocks (1.47).
The senior has reached double-digit kills in 24 of 25 matches, and has eight double-doubles and two triple-doubles on the season. She has led Utah in blocks in 19 of 25 matches and in kills 13 times. Turner was named MVP of the Utah Classic and was named to the all-tournament team at the Arizona State Tournament.
Turner is the all-time MWC leader in both kills and blocks. She finished conference play this season with 231 kills, the top season total in conference matches in MWC history. Her .434 season hitting percentage was also good for third place all-time in the Mountain West season record books.
With 1,517 kills on her career, Turner needs just 49 more to become the all-time leader at Utah. She already ranks first in the Ute career record books in total blocks (638), block assists (563) and hitting percentage (.323), third in block solos (75) and fifth in attempts (3,098).
Turner is in the midst of a 119-match blocking streak and has posted at least one block in 121 of 122 matches on her career.
"Kim is very deserving of this award," Head Coach Beth Launiere said. "She worked so hard to be the very best she could be this year. Her ability to get so much better after receiving this same award last year says a lot about her character."
Morrill, who leads the Utes with 3.40 digs per game, has posted 10 or more digs in 16 matches and had nine digs in six others. Additionally, she led the Utes in digs in 24 of 25 matches and was named the Top Libero at the Utah Classic.
In conference play, Morrill ranked second in digs per game with a 3.53 average. Her 180 digs in conference matches was the third best in the history of the MWC.
"On a day-to-day basis, it's so hard to get recognition at the libero position," Launiere said. "Jackie does so much behind-the-scenes work, which is why this award is so special. She's the strength at the base of the mountain we're trying to climb. Her blue collar work can go unnoticed, but as a team, we know and value what she means to our team. It's nice that the conference has recognized it, too."
Sommerfeldt ranked seventh in the conference in points per game (4.07) and ninth in kills per game (3.51). She has 10 or more kills in 21 of 25 matches thus far this season and led the Utes in kills on 11 occasions. She was also named to the all-tournament team at the Utah Classic.
"Shelly has been a mainstay in our trek through conference play," Launiere said. "She was our go-to player behind Kim."