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Hamilton and Reuther earn All-Louisiana honors for Xavier

Christabell Hamilton

Christabell Hamilton

     Taylor Reuther

Taylor Reuther

     December 18, 2011

     NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana's Christabell Hamilton, who guided the Gold Nuggets to a record-setting turnaround in her debut season, is the Coach of the Year on the 2011 All-Louisiana collegiate women's volleyball team. Xavier's Taylor Reuther was chosen to the second team and tied for second in voting for Freshman of the Year.
     A Louisiana Sports Writers Association panel selected the team, which was announced late Saturday. It's the first time that Xavier received All-Louisiana recognition in this sport.
     Hamilton, hired less than 11 weeks before the Gold Nuggets' season opener, led Xavier to a 23-7 record — the program's first winning season — after finishing 11-26 in 2010. The 15-match turnaround was the fourth best in the NAIA this year. Xavier won the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament championships without dropping a match and earned its first berth in the NAIA National Championship.
     The Gold Nuggets were 9-1 in matches longer than three sets, and they set school records for victories, consecutive victories (8 — twice), home victories (8), conference victories (10), victories on opponents' courts (6) and winning percentage (.767).
     Hamilton is the third coach — the second since the 1930s — to win a conference championship in a debut season at Xavier.
     Reuther, a 5-foot-7 outside hitter from Metairie, La., and a graduate of St. Mary's Dominican High School, led Xavier in kills (324), aces (55) and digs (325). She was All-GCAC, GCAC Tournament Co-MVP and GCAC Player of the Week three times.
     Reuther ranked 13th in the NAIA — third among freshmen — in aces per set. She produced a team-best 12 kill-dig double-doubles, nine more than Xavier had in 2010. Reuther had 16 matches with 10 or more kills and 18 matches with 10 or more digs.
     Reuther received three votes for Freshman of the Year to share runner-up honors with LSU's Malorie Pardo. Northwestern State's Stacey DiFrancesco received five votes to earn the award.


2011 All-Louisiana Women's Volleyball Team
FIRST TEAM
Keelie Arneson, freshman, Northwestern State
Nicole Bowden, senior, McNeese State
Stacey DiFrancesco, freshman, Northwestern State
Desiree Elliott, sophomore, LSU
Madie Jones, junior, LSU
Meghan Mannari, junior, LSU
Cori Martone, sophomore, Tulane
Malorie Pardo, freshman LSU

SECOND TEAM
Becky Bekelja, junior, McNeese State
Zuzana Markova, junior, Louisiana-Monroe
Lesley Mirarchi, senior, Louisiana-Lafayette
Taylor Reuther, freshman Xavier
Stephany Salas, junior, Louisiana Tech
Michele Williams, senior, LSU
Anna Wruck, freshman Tulane

     PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Madie Jones, LSU
     Voting: Jones 5, Bowden 3, DiFrancesco 3, Salas 1
LIBERO OF THE YEAR: (tie) Keelie Arneson, Northwestern State; Meghan Mannari, LSU
     Voting: Arneson 5, Mannari 5, Salas 2
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR Stephany Salas, Louisiana Tech
     Voting: Salas 7, Markova 5
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Stacey DiFrancesco, Northwestern State
     Voting: DiFrancesco 5, Pardo 3, Reuther 3, Christal Hollins (SUNO) 1
COACH OF THE YEAR: Christabell Hamilton, Xavier
     Voting: Hamilton 5, Ernest Vazquez (Louisiana-Monroe) 3, Tommy Harold (Loyola) 2, Fran Flory (LSU) 1

HONORABLE MENTION
Paige Dollison, senior, Southeastern Louisiana
Nikki Osuna, senior, Tulane
Clara Vido, sophomore, Louisiana Tech
Samantha Worsham, junior, Loyola

 

 
Gulf Coast Athletic Conference

National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
The Xavier Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets compete in Division I of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) as a member of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC). Xavier fields men's teams in basketball, cross country and tennis and women's teams in basketball, cross country, tennis and volleyball.

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