Nov. 24, 2004
By Lou Antoine
ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Southern Illinois placed at least one student-athlete on the First Team MVC Scholar-Athlete Team for the fifth straight year, when the Missouri Valley Conference announced its 2004 MVC Scholar-Athlete Team on Tuesday.
Senior libero Erica Miller earned her second straight First Team MVC Scholar-Athlete honor and sophomore outside hitter Jene' Pulliam earned her first scholar-athlete honor, when she was named to the Honorable Mention MVC Scholar-Athlete Team.
Miller and Pulliam continued SIU's record of placing at least one student-athlete on the MVC Scholar-Athlete Team every year since the Missouri Valley Conference began honoring student-athletes in 1992; all under head coach Sonya Locke.
Miller, a Middlebury, Ind. native, has a 3.879 grade point average in university studies. She has been named to the Dean's List all six semesters at SIU and was a 2003 First Team MVC Scholar-Athlete Team member.
On the court, Miller started every match at libero this season, and was one of only two Salukis to start every contest. She was team captain and played all 113 games this season, which leads the Valley in games played.
Miller ended her career with 1000 career digs, which is fifth on the all-time list at SIU, and led the Salukis defensively in 2004 with 462 digs and 4.09 digs per game overall and 255 digs and 3.70 digs per game in MVC play. Her 462 digs in a single season ranks third on the all-time list.
Miller was also named to the Pittsburgh Classic All-tournament Team, set a career-high with 26 digs against Creighton (10/29), and played in 399 career games, which leaves her 10th on the all-time list.
In addition to Miller, the other student-athletes named to the first team are: Karen Augspurger, Elizabeth Meyers, Darci Vohs and Sara Younes, Wichita State; Brittany Coleman and Leah Ratzlaff, Creighton; Kelly Spisak and Kristin Widmar, Indiana State; Emily Kabbes, Illinois State; Abby Lemek, Northern Iowa; Lindsay Stalzer, Bradley; and Katie Werges, SMS.
Pulliam, a Rockford, Ill. native, carries a 3.879 grade point average in management. Pulliam was named to the Dean's List both semesters last year, including a perfect 4.0 grade point average last spring semester.
She led SIU with 197 kills and 2.86 kills per game in MVC play. Pulliam also topped the Salukis with 2.83 kills and was second with 280 overall kills. She had a team and career-high 21 kills against SMS and set a new career-high attack percentage, hitting .632 with 14 kills and two errors in 39 attempts against Nicholls State in a 3-0 win. Pulliam hit .186 for the season, playing in every match.
Those selected with Pulliam to the honorable mention team were: Sabrina Apker, Katie Kreimer and Ashley Warren, SMS; Lara Geer and Andee Hartig, Wichita State; Janeen Piller and Ashley Williams, Creighton; and Shari Vermeer, Northern Iowa.
A total of 40 student-athletes were nominated for the 2004 Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete Team, marking the 13th-straight season that at least 30 Valley players were under consideration for league academic honors.
The criteria for the Valley's Scholar-Athlete Team parallels the CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) standards for Academic All-America voting. Nominees must be a starter or important reserve with at least a 3.00 cumulative grade-point average. Also, students must have participated in at least 75 percent of the regular season, reached sophomore academic and athletic standing at their institution and completed at least one full academic year at their institution.