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Renata Nowacki was named OVC Coach of the Year after leading Southeast to a share of the OVC regular-season title this season
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Redhawks Gain OVC Volleyball Postseason Honors

Nov. 14, 2007

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Southeast Missouri State volleyball players Karleigh DeLong (Corona, Calif./Santiago) and Aubrey Dondlinger (Palos Heights, Ill./Parkland CC) earned All-Ohio Valley Conference accolades, the conference announced today in a press release. DeLong captured First Team All-OVC honors while Dondlinger was named to the OVC All-Newcomer team. It is the first time since 2003 in which the Redhawks have put two players on all-conference teams.

Third-year head coach Renata Nowacki was also honored by the conference as she was voted OVC Coach of the Year after leading Southeast to capture a share of its first OVC regular-season title in six years that included winning 12 of its last 13 matches to end the regular season. The Redhawks, who were picked to finish sixth in the conference's preseason poll in August, currently own a 20-11 record and posted a 15-5 mark in conference play.

"It's nice to win this honor because we were picked sixth in the preseason and ended up finishing first, but we have unfinished business at the conference tournament in Jacksonville and that is our ultimate goal," Nowacki replied. "I think we'll be able to celebrate as a team once we have that trophy in hand and it will be that much sweeter then."

Sophomore Karleigh DeLong was named to the All-OVC First Team

DeLong leads Southeast with 415 kills (3.74 kpg) and 31 service aces (0.28 sapg) in addition to posting 19 double-doubles on the year. The 5-11 right side hitter ranks fourth in the OVC in points per game and is sixth in kills per game. She recorded her first career 20/20 match Sept. 15 at Tennessee Tech thanks to the career-best numbers of 28 kills and 26 digs.

"It feels really good that all of my hard work is being recognized and that it will help our team's main goal which is to become OVC champions," said DeLong.

In her first season with the Redhawks, Dondlinger has produced 398 kills (3.37 kpg), 343 digs (2.91 dpg) and 27 service aces (0.23 sapg) while recording a team-high 21 double-double efforts. She tallied a career-best 25 kills against Tennessee Tech on Oct. 19 and scored a career-high 18 digs on two occasions.

Junior Aubrey Dondlinger has produced 21 double-doubles en route to claiming OVC All-Newcomer honors

"I'm just really excited about it (being named to the All-Newcomer team), but now is not the time for me to celebrate as we look to keep working towards winning the OVC Tournament this weekend.

Jacksonville State senior Abbey Breit won the OVC Offensive Player of the Year award for the third consecutive season and Brittany Nobilio of Eastern Kentucky was named OVC Defensive Player of the Year. The conference's Freshman of the Year honor was awarded to Tennessee Tech freshman Leah Meffert.

The Redhawks will open OVC Tournament play tomorrow afternoon at JSU's Pete Mathews Coliseum against Tennessee Tech with the first serve set for 4:30 p.m.


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