Lara Newberry named AVCA All-South Region Honorable Mention

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. Junior libero Lara Newberry (Chattanooga, Tenn.) has added yet another impressive accolade following her record-setting junior season as she has been named an Honorable Mention on the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s All-South Region team.


“I am extremely proud of Lara for being named Honorable Mention on the AVCA All-Region team” says Chattanooga head coach Lisa Rhodes. “She is one of only two players from the Southern Conference to be recognized on this year’s team and the other is our conference Player-of-the-Year. This is a great honor for her personally, for Chattanooga and for the Southern Conference.”


This season, Newberry has certainly earned the honor as she has not only rewritten the digs portion of the Lady Mocs record book but has also made her mark on the NCAA ledger. After two stunning seasons which saw her break the Chattanooga single season record for digs with 736 in 2005 and 721 more in 2006, the Chattanooga native entered 2007 needing only 601 digs to set UTC’s all-time record.


After chasing Kylie Hunter’s (1990-93) mark of 2,058 digs through the first part of the season, Newberry collected 35 digs on October 16 against Lipscomb to break the record and become the Lady Mocs all-time leader in digs in only her third season. She would go on to shatter the record with a total of 2,399 career digs by the end of the season.


That same week, she would be named Co-Player of the Week by the Southern Conference and also National Player of the Week by Collegiate Volleyball Update.


On October 30, Newberry registered 25 digs at Western Carolina to break yet another Chattanooga record, this time her own single-season digs mark of 736. She currently holds the Lady Mocs top three-single season performances.


Already having compiled an impressive list of accomplishments during the regular season, Newberry continued her record-setting performances in the post season, collecting her two most impressive feats to date. 


Having finished the regular season with 863 digs, Newberry entered the Southern Conference Tournament needing only 61 digs to break the NCAA record of 924 set by Minnesota’s Paula Gentil in 2004. She recorded 40 digs in a quarterfinal win over Elon on November 16 to close to 903 before posting 39 digs the following day against three-time defending conference champion College of Charleston to push her total to 942 digs and claim the NCAA record.


It would not be the only NCAA mark that Newberry would set in 2007 as she posted an average of 7.19 digs per game to lead the NCAA in digs per game from start to finish, becoming the first Chattanooga player to do so. With one season of eligibility remaining, she is currently 392 digs away from surpassing the NCAA’s All-Time Modern Era Digs Record and will likely accomplish that feat in the first half of the 2008 season. That mark is currently held by Paula Gentil who recorded 2,791 digs from 2002-05 for Minnesota.


In addition to her record setting performances, Newberry also compiled some other impressive numbers during the season, including recording 20 digs or more 26 times, 14 times with 30 digs or more and four times with 40 or more digs, including 45 twice. Those two performances came against Georgia State on August 24 and then against the College of Charleston on October 9 and were within one dig of tying the Lady Mocs single-match record of 46 set by Hunter on October 15, 1991. Overall, Newberry recorded double-digit digs in 32 of 33 matches this season.


“After breaking career dig marks for UTC and the Southern Conference, breaking the NCAA single-season record and leading the nation in digs all year long, it is nice to see that Lara has received recognition for her great season” adds Rhodes.


Newberry earned her Honorable Mention selection in a highly competitive region in 2007.  Of the 12 members on the All-South Region team, seven hailed from South Eastern Conference schools while two were members of the 35-3 Middle Tennessee State squad that advanced to the NCAA Regionals this season. Brittany Zahn of Appalachian State University was the only other Southern Conference player to be named to the team.


Newberry joins Kari Krouse (2000-03) as Chattanooga’s only other All-Region selection since the AVCA first began presenting the awards in 1996. Krouse was named to the All- South Region team following the 2003 season and was an All-America Honorable Mention.



2007 AVCA All-South Region Selections

Ashley Adams, Junior, Middle Tennessee State (Right Side/Opposite)

Megan Argabright, Junior, Western Kentucky (Middle Blocker)

Ashley Asberry, Junior, Middle Tennessee State (Middle Blocker)

Elyse Cusack, Sophomore, University of Florida (Defensive Specialist/Libero)

Lauren DeGirolamo, Sophomore, Louisiana State University (Middle Blocker)

Marcie Hampton, Senior, University of Florida (Outside Hitter)

Crystal Hudson, Senior, University of Alabama (Middle Blocker)

Elena Martinez, Junior, Louisiana State University (Defensive Specialist/Libero)

Angie McGinnis, Senior, University of Florida (Setter)

Queen Nzenwa, Junior, University of Kentucky (Middle Blocker)

Yarimar Rosa, Sophomore, Florida International University (Outside Hitter)

Brittany Zahn, Senior, Appalachian State University (Outside Hitter)


South Region Freshman of the Year

Stefine Pease, Lipscomb (Setter)


South Region Honorable Mention

Nicole Briteniker, Senior, University of Kentucky (Middle Blocker)

Leslie Clark, Sophomore, Middle Tennessee State (Outside Hitter)

Rachel Kieckhaefer, Junior, Mississippi (Setter)

Kim Muller, Senior, Denver (Middle Blocker)

Lara Newberry, Junior, Chattanooga (Libero)

Colleen Nilson, Senior, Belmont (Setter)




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