Nov. 25, 2003
By Lou Antoine
ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Southern Illinois University senior Kelly Harman and junior Erica Miller were each named to the Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete First-Team by a vote of the league's sports information directors, while a total of 23 student-athletes from around the league were honored by the MVC office on Tuesday.
"I think Kelly and Erica are what the term student-athlete is all about. Kelly is a civil engineering major who had to miss practice sometimes or would come to whatever part of practice she could attend to get better. Her dedication speaks for itself. It amazes me that she can get straight A's during a volleyball season with all the travel and work she does. She's truly amazing," said Sonya Locke, SIU head coach.
"Erica just settled into her major and has done well in whatever area she studies. She's a walk-on who never misses practice except for class. They're both the type of people you want to build your program around. They're role models for players who join or team and their current teammates as well. I'm happy that their hard work on and off the court has been honored because it's well deserved."
Harman, a Quincy, Ill. native and Quincy Notre Dame High graduate, holds a 3.65 GPA in civil engineering. She was named to the Dean's List last spring semester with a perfect 4.0 GPA and has been on the Dean's List seven times in eight semesters at SIU.
Harman started 28 and played in 29 matches and 103 games, all personal bests. She led the Salukis in kills, kills per game (2.65) and attempts and was second in digs. Harman made the most of her final season, setting career-highs with 273 kills, 859 attempts, 259 digs, 26 blocks, 19 aces, 29 matches, 22 assists and ten double-doubles. She also set a career-high with a .444 hitting percentage in a match and had a career-high 20 digs and 64 attempts against Buffalo. The 64 attempts ties her for sixth on the SIU single match list and is sixth among Valley hitters this year.
Miller, a Middlebury, Ind. native and Northridge High graduate, holds a 3.84 GPA in the rehabilitation services and physical therapy assistant program. She has been named to the Dean's List all four semesters at SIU.
The libero/defensive specialist played in 29 matches and 106 games. Miller led SIU with 274 digs and 2.58 digs per game. She set and equalled her career-high of 19 digs in both matches versus Evansville. In addition Harman and Miller, the other first team student-athletes include: Jill Arganbright and Molly O'Brien of Northern Iowa; Karen Augspurger, Lara Geer, Andee Hartig and Sara Younes of Wichita State; Chenille Bayless and Katie Kreimer of SMS; Jenna Passman and Lindsay Stalzer of Bradley; Leah Ratzlaff and Ashley Williams of Creighton; and Staci Boyce of Illinois State.
Indiana State was the only team recognized on the honorable mention squad that did not place any student-athletes on the first team. Kylee Osborne and Brittanie Stowell of the Sycamores received recognition as honorable mentions. Also on the honorable mention list are: Leah Johnson and Katie Werges of SMS; Emily Kabbes of Illinois State; Janeen Piller of Creighton and Melissa Schultz of Bradley. A total of 37 student-athletes were nominated for the 2003 Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete Team, marking the 12th 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.