Stanford women have six named to AVCA All-American team


The Stanford women's volleyball team had six players recognized when the American Volleyball Coaches Association announced its All-America selections today.

Juniors Inky Ajanaku, Madi Bugg and Jordan Burgess were named to the first team, redshirt freshman Merete Lutz earned second team honors, and seniors Morgan Boukather and Kyle Gilbert garnered honorable mention.

The selections bring Stanford's total AVCA All-America award count to 81 honors spread over 33 players.

Ajanaku is a repeat first team selection and earned honorable mention in 2012. Bugg receives her second career honor after being named to the second team in 2013. Burgess and Gilbert are also being honored for a second time as both were honorable mention last year. Boukather is being recognized for the first time.

Stanford's four selections to one of the first three teams are the most since the 2007 season when Foluke Akinradewo (1st), Cynthia Barboza (1st), Bryn Kehoe (1st) and Alix Klineman (2nd) were all honored. The Cardinal's six overall selections is a school record, surpassing last season's mark of five.

Ajanaku is fifth nationally with a .438 hitting percentage, which is the fourth-best in a single season at Stanford. The middle blocker from Tulsa, Okla., recently moved into the top 10 on the Cardinal's career blocks list (432) and is averaging 1.16 blocks per set for the year. She was voted the Most Outstanding Player at the Ames Regional and has twice been named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week this season, while also securing Offensive Player of the Week accolades. She was tabbed the AVCA National Player of the Week on Sept. 9 after the Cardinal knocked off then-No. 1 Penn State and then-No. 9 Illinois.

Bugg, who hails from Apex, N.C., leads the nation with 12.11 assists per set. The two-time Pac-12 Setter of the Year, she is second on the team with 14 double-doubles this season and earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 20. She tallied a season high 59 assists in a four-set win at Oregon State on Oct. 31 and collected a career-best 24 digs in a win over No. 16 Arizona on Nov. 7. She recently moved into fifth place on the Cardinal's career assists list with 3,751 and her career assists per set average of 10.69 is tied for fourth all-time at Stanford.

Burgess, an outside hitter from Fort Myers, Fla., leads the team with 18 double-doubles on the year. She is second on the squad with 3.10 kills and 3.16 digs per set. She collected her 1,000th career dig against Arizona on Nov. 7 and registered her 1,000th career kill on Dec. 6 against Michigan State. She is just the ninth Cardinal player to amass 1,000 career kills and digs. She registered the final kill in the Cardinal's sweep over No. 5 Florida to send Stanford to its first Final Four since 2008.

Lutz, a native of Houston, Texas, leads the Pac-12 and is third in the nation with a .445 attack percentage, which is the third-best mark in a single season at Stanford. She also ranks fourth in the conference with 1.21 blocks per set. She has twice been named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week and earned all-tournament honors at the Stanford Invitational and USD Invitational. She was also named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman team this season.

Boukather, an opposite from Newport Beach, is posting career highs in kills (2.54), digs (2.14), points (3.07) and hitting percentage (.278). She has five double-doubles on the year and posted a career high 18 kills at Utah (10/19) and registered a career best 24 digs against Arizona (11/7). She tied for the team lead with 12 kills in the Ames Regional final sweep over Florida.

Gilbert, a libero from Encinitas, ranks second in the Pac-12 with 4.75 digs per set, pushing that mark to 4.89 digs per set against conference opponents. She earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors after setting a school record with 40 digs against Arizona on Nov. 7. On the year, her 589 digs ranks second on the program's single season list. She has registered double-digit digs in all 34 of Stanford's matches this year. She is second in Cardinal history with 1,999 career digs.

No. 1 Stanford, which is making its 19th Final Four appearance and seventh under 14th-year head coach John Dunning, faces No. 5 seed Penn State in the national semifinals on Thursday at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. First serve is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. PT on ESPN2. The winner will meet the winner of the other semifinal match between No. 2 seed Texas and BYU on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. PT on ESPN2 for the national championship.

— Stanford Athletics

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