Nov. 27, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Senior libero Mariah Henley and sophomore middle blocker Gabby Pethokoukis were named to the volleyball All-BIG EAST Second Team announced by the conference office on Wednesday morning.
This marks the first time both Wildcats were honored by the conference for their collective efforts throughout the season. Henley has been a BIG EAST Academic All-Star for the past two seasons, but concluded her renowned Villanova career as one of the top libero's in the conference and nation.
"Mariah's ability to play hard every point of every match makes her a special player," Villanova head coach Josh Steinbach said. "She has been an outstanding student-athlete at Villanova and is deserving of any and all awards she has earned. Mariah has left her mark as another great libero in our program."
The senior libero finished the year averaging 5.09 digs/set, which ranked second in the BIG EAST and 29th in the country. The Hockessin, Del. native was also one of the top players at scoring points on the serve. She registered 0.39 service aces/set which placed her second in the conference and 40th in the NCAA.
Henley's 547 digs this season was good enough for the sixth best single-season mark in school history. She owns two places on that list, including the third slot after totaling 632 digs a year ago. After playing three sets in the final match of her career, Henley cracked the top-10 in most sets played in a Wildcat uniform with 435.
The senior team captain capped off her career ranked third in Villanova's history with 1,703 total digs and fourth in the record books after averaging 3.91 digs/set. She also earned MVP of the Villanova Classic and All-Tournament honors at the Golden Grizzlies Invitational.
After an injury in the season opener sidelined her for the team's next 13 matches, Pethokoukis returned to the starting lineup as a force in the middle. In her first weekend back, the sophomore was recognized by the BIG EAST after accumulating 17 kills and a .452 attack pct. in two matches.
"Gabby has had an outstanding season. She has grown up as a player over the past two seasons and showed that she can be a dominant player against any opponent. I'm excited that we have to more years of Gabby as a Wildcat," Steinbach added.
The Western Springs, Ill. native appeared in 17 matches this season and finished second in the conference with a .351 attack pct. Pethokoukis averaged 2.63 kills/set and 0.76 blocks/set, while reaching double figure kills seven times, including a span of four consecutive matches.
She garnered conference honors once more following a career-high 24 points and 19 kills, while adding a .429 attack pct. with a season-high seven blocks against Georgetown.
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