Cougars Named to All-Region Team

Lindsy Hartsock was named to the AVCA All-Region Team and is now eligible for All-America status. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- Two Cougars were honored this week by the American Volleyball Coaches Association for their outstanding play during the 2005 season as senior Lauren Richards Evans and junior Lindsy Hartsock were named to the AVCA West All-Region Team.

"This is a wonderful recognition for our volleyball program," said BYU head coach Jason Watson. "I am proud of all that Lauren and Lindsy have accomplished. Their personal success this year is a reflection of the direction our program is heading. They have both helped lay a solid foundation for us to build upon."

The two BYU stars helped the Cougars achieve a 25-4 overall record this season, including their first Mountain West Conference regular-season title since 1999 and their 22nd NCAA appearance in the 25 years of the event.

Middle blocker Hartsock, from Inkom, Idaho, boasted the nation's best hitting percentage for much of the season, finishing with a .444 mark. She hit .500 or better in 16 of BYU's 29 matches and was named the MWC Player of the Year for her efforts in addition to being selected the MVP of the Buckeye Classic Tournament and twice being named the MWC Player of the Week. Hartsock recorded season highs of 21 kills, .800 hitting and 10 blocks.

BYU setter Richards Evans, an Orem, Utah native, received her third All-MWC selection this year after leading the Cougars to one of the nation's best hitting percentages throughout the season. She was ranked as high as 15th in the nation in assists per game and led the MWC in that category for the entire year. With 4,056 total assists, Richards Evans completed her Cougar career fourth all-time at BYU.

Richards Evans and Hartsock, who earned All-Region Honorable Mention honors as a freshman, are the first Cougars named to the All-Region team since Nina Puikkonen and Sunny Tonga Mahe in 2000. The pair is now eligible for All-America consideration, which will be announced next week.