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UTA Announces 2000's Volleyball All-Decade Team

Ashley Smith led the nation with 863 digs in 2006 and is the all-time UTA career digs leader with 1,921
 
Ashley Smith led the nation with 863 digs in 2006 and is the all-time UTA career digs leader with 1,921
 

Jan. 24, 2010

ARLINGTON, Texas - UT Arlington announced its Volleyball 2000's All-Decade team, which was selected by the UTA office of sports information, with help from UTA coaches, former Maverick players and former sports information directors. The All-Decade team is comprised of Maverick players that played during the 2000-2009 seasons, while taking into consideration on-court performance, statistics, and career and single-season achievements along with awards, honors, recognitions and championship contribution.

The 2000's decade for UTA volleyball included a 175-132 (.570) overall record, two NCAA Tournament appearances (2001, 2002), two Southland Conference Tournament championships (2001, 2002) and an SLC regular season title (2002).

The 2002 squad won the league with an 18-2 conference mark and their 26 victories are the most by a UTA team since the 1989 team - which advanced to the national semifinals (31-4). In addition, the 2002 team had a decade best 17-match win streak, which is the longest streak by a UTA team since the 1989 team won 25 in a row during their magical season.

The 2002 team became the first UTA team since 1992 to win both the SLC regular season championship and the SLC Tournament title in the same year. That 2002 team leads the way with five representatives on the All-Decade team while the 2001, 2003 and 2004 teams each have four players that made the list.

Every UTA team in the decade has at least one player who was named to the team. The team includes six four-year letterwinners and two players who were two-year standouts for the program. But only eight players will have the distinction of being named to the UT Arlington 2000's All-Decade team.

Setter: Heather Dunn (2001-2004) - 5,483 assists, 1,099 digs, 662 kills, 85 aces, .284 %, 233 blocks
Heather Dunn played for the Mavericks during the four-year period in the decade where UTA had its most success with 88 wins (2001-04). Dunn was a big reason why. She dished out 5,483 assists, which are 1,994 more assists than anyone else in the 2000's. Her career assist total ranks third in UTA history and she is one of only 17 players in UTA history with over 1,000 career digs (1,099). She was a three-time second team All-SLC selection and she was named to the 2001 SLC All-Tournament team after distributing 67 assists in the championship match against Stephen F. Austin in a five-set victory as a freshman. In fact, her 1,524 assists in 2001 are the second most in UTA history by a freshmen and the fourth highest total for a single-season by a Maverick. She was second in the SLC averaging 12.53 assists per set in 2001 and was also second in the league the following season handing out 13.00 assists per set. Her career .284 attack percentage ranks sixth in the UTA record books, and Dunn was twice named SLC All-Academic. She notched a career-high 76 assists in a five-set loss during the 2002 season.

Right Side Hitter: Torie Dacus (2004-2007) - 1,564 digs, 1,071 kills, 2,970 attempts, .255 %, 262 blocks, 55 aces
Torie Dacus played in every match during her four-year career (123) and she was a key ingredient while leading the Mavs to 74 wins. Dacus was one of only two players in the decade that recorded over 1,000 kills (1,071) and 1,000 digs (1,564) joining All-Decade middle blocker Caley Smith. Dacus ranks fifth in career digs and is 13th in career kills. Her 1,071 digs are the second most by any Maverick in the decade. She earned first team All-SLC recognition in back-to-back seasons (2006-2007) and four times was a Southland Conference Player of the Week. She led the Mavericks with 299 kills in 2007 and was the team leader with 23 aces during her freshman campaign in 2004. Dacus had career-highs in 2006 with 400 kills, 3.05 kills per set and 495 digs. For her career, Dacus recorded 29 double-doubles, 53 double-figure kill matches and 85 double-figure dig matches.

Outside Hitter: Amber Pack (1999-2002) - 1,887 digs, 1,578 kills, 4,239 attempts, 111 aces, .216 %
One of the most prolific players in UT Arlington history is Amber Pack, who has her name scattered throughout the UTA record books. She is the only player in UTA history to rank in the top five in career kills and career digs. She ranks third in kills (1,578), second in digs (1,887) and second in career attempts (4,239). She was a four-time All-SLC selection, earning second team honors in 1999, 2000 and 2002 and was selected third team in 2001. She was named SLC Freshman of the Year in 1999, and she owns a UTA record with seven SLC Player of the Week selections. She was the definition of consistency recording over 300 kills in all four seasons, including over 400 in her first two collegiate seasons. She led the conference averaging 4.69 digs per set as a freshman while putting her name in four UTA freshman top-10 record books. In fact, Pack owns a pair of UTA freshman all-time records with 442 kills and 516 digs. In the first year of the decade, Pack put her name in the all-time UTA record book for a single-match with 26 kills in a three-set match, which is the second time a Maverick has accomplished that feat. Pack finished her career on back-to-back SLC Tournament championship teams and was named to two SLC All-Tournament teams while picking up 2002 tournament MVP honors. Playing in only three seasons in the 2000's, Pack led the Mavericks to an average of 22 wins per season from 2000-2002.

Outside Hitter: Carol Bozikis (2001-2002) - 700 kills, 839 digs, 79 aces, 64 blocks, .202 %
Arguably one of the top junior-college transfers in UT Arlington history is Carol Bozikis. Her two seasons with the program ended with three championships, including a 2002 regular season title and back-to-back SLC Tournament titles in 2001 and 2002. In her first season, Bozikis led the team in kills (368), attempts (1,053) and digs (433) on her way to being named second team All-SLC, and she became the fifth ever SLC Newcomer of the Year in Mavericks history. That was far from the end of Bozikis' accomplishments for her breakthrough campaign as she picked up SLC Tournament MVP honors while guiding the Mavericks to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1992. In addition, Bozikis was an SLC Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week selection during the 2001 season. She ended her collegiate career in 2002 leading the Mavericks to their finest season in the decade. Bozikis was again named second team All-SLC and she led the Mavs with 49 aces and also tallied 322 kills, 2.85 kills per set and 406 digs. Bozikis was a part of 48 wins in two seasons - the most in a two-year span for UTA in the decade - and helped UTA to 31-9 SLC record during her two-year career.

Middle Blocker: Caley Smith (2001-2004) - 1,416 kills, 1,318 digs, 3,348 attempts, 342 blocks, 111 aces, .302 %
Caley Smith dominated offensively and defensively during her four-year career where she was a four-time All-SLC pick. The only member of the 2000's All-Decade team - and only the third in school history - to have over 1,000 career kills, 1,000 career digs and 300 career blocks, Smith was an offensive and defensive force. Smith ranks in six UTA career record books, including fourth in attack percentage (.302), fifth in kills (1,416), fifth in block assists (318), seventh in blocks (342), eighth in attempts (3,348) and 11th in digs (1,318). Her career started off with a bang as she led UTA with 100 total blocks and a .306 attack percentage and ranked second on the team with 365 kills in 2001. Her freshman season was one of the best in UTA history ranking in six UTA freshman record books, including attack percentage (2nd - .302), block assists (T-2nd - 96), kills (3rd - 365), total blocks (6th - 100), aces (7th - 40) and attempts (9th - 814). In addition, Smith was named SLC Player of the Week twice during her freshman campaign. Smith ended her collegiate career with a dominating showing at the SLC Tournament. Despite playing in only two conference tournament matches, Smith was named All-Tournament team after posting 12 kills, a .480 attack percentage and 17 digs in a three-set victory against Sam Houston State and then recorded 20 kills with 17 digs in a five-set loss against Texas State. In addition, Smith holds a UTA all-time record with 451 consecutive sets played - which ranks 20th in NCAA history.

Middle Blocker: Melissa Robinett (2002-2003) - 687 kills, 1,603 attempts, .316 %, 266 blocks
Melissa Robinett made an instant impact for the Mavericks in her debut season in 2002 helping the Mavericks to the 2002 regular season and conference tournament championship as she led the team in attack percentage (.352) and blocks (138). Robinett, who transferred from Wyoming, became an SLC All-Tournament team selection while her .352 attack percentage is the highest mark since 1988 and is the third highest single-season percentage in program history. Her 138 total blocks and 119 block assists in 2002 both rank ninth in UTA single-season history. She followed her 2002 season with another standout effort in 2003 earning second team All-SLC and receiving SLC Player of the Week honors. She led the Mavericks with 370 kills, 3.52 kills per set and with 128 total blocks. She led the team in kills 16 times and was the team leader in blocks on 18 occasions. Robinett's career .316 attack percentage ranks second in UTA history.

Libero: Ashley Smith (2003-2006) - 1,921 digs, 363 assists, 67 aces, 44 kills
The libero position was instituted in NCAA volleyball in 2001, and soon after Ashley Smith set the bar very high for any libero to follow in her footsteps at UTA or in the Southland Conference. Smith, the first ever Maverick player to be labeled as a libero, owns UTA single-season (863) and career (1,921) dig records while her 863 digs in 2006 are an SLC record and rank third in the NCAA record books. Smith entered the UTA program in 2003 as a setter, but immediately made her mark in the back row where she led the team with 405 digs as a freshman - which ranks fourth in the UTA freshman record book. She followed with 225 digs as a sophomore and led UTA with 428 digs as a junior in 2005. Her 863 digs in 2006 led the nation and her 6.54 digs per set ranked fifth in the country. She tallied 30 or more digs in seven matches and had 20 or more digs in 25 matches. She owns the school record for most digs in a four-set and five-set match with a pair of 37 dig matches in four-set contests and notched 43 digs in a five-set match - all of which came during the 2006 season. She was named SLC Defensive Player of the Week three times and was a second team All-SLC selection in 2006. Smith was named SLC All-Tournament team while tying the conference tournament all-time record with 86 digs in tournament action. She recorded 37 digs in the opening round and followed with 26 in the semifinals and 23 in the championship match.

Utility: Teena Sobczak (2006-2009) - 1,192 digs, 709 kills, 2,424 attempts, 54 aces, 93 blocks
Teena Sobczak began her career as one of the top offensive players in the decade and she finished her career as a solid defensive player with the Mavericks. Sobczak entered the 1,000 career-dig club after only three seasons in the program and finished her career with 1,192 digs to rank 14th all-time. She had a balanced career with 709 kills and 93 blocks to go with her impressive numbers in the back row. She became only the second freshman in the decade (Heather Dunn, 2001) to earn Southland Conference All-Tournament team honors in 2006 as her standout freshman season ranks among the best in UTA history. Sobczak's 431 kills as a freshman rank second and her 1,343 attempts in 2006 are the most ever by a Maverick freshman. She also tallied 467 digs, which is second in the all-time UTA freshman record books. She was an SLC Offensive Player of the Week during her sophomore season. Sobczak finished her career with 36 career double-doubles and she tallied at least 20 kills six times and had over 20 digs in 10 matches.

 

 

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