FSU’s Sutton earns All-America honors

Senior middle hitter was among nation’s leaders in attack percentage this season

BIG RAPIDS — Ferris State volleyball senior middle hitter Anne Sutton has earned All-America recognition after leading the Bulldogs to the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Semifinals last week.

Sutton officially joined an elite group of student-athletes in the history of the Bulldog women’s volleyball program as she earned her first American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-America honor by garnering honorable mention recognition.

Sutton previously named to the AVCA All-Midwest Region First Team and she also claimed Daktronics Division II All-Midwest Region First Team accolades as well this fall.

ABOVE THE REST: FSU’s Anne Sutton became the 14th player in Bulldog history to attain All-Amerca honors this season. (Pioneer file photo)

With her selection, Sutton becomes the 14th individual to receive All-America laurels in FSU history, which completed its 40th anniversary season this campaign.  It also marks the third-straight year in which FSU has had at least one All-America player.  Arielle Goodson was a second-team recipient in 2010 while Ashley Huntey achieved third team status in 2011 and Lisa Tobiczyk was an honorable mention recipient in 2011.

Sutton also was selected to the along with FSU junior libero Brandie Merren in receiving Daktronics All-Midwest Region First Team recognition in voting conducted by the region’s sports information directors.

Sutton, who was an Academic All-American a year ago, ranked among the nation’s top 10 players this season with a .388 attack percentage and led the Bulldogs in kills (346) and blocks (88).  She also earned both All-GLIAC First Team and Capital One Division II Academic All-District IV First Team honors for the second consecutive campaign and finished first in the league in attack percentage along with ranking among the leaders in both kills and blocks.

Joining Sutton and Merren on the first team were Indianapolis senior hitter Kristina Kerrigan along with the Greyhounds’ sophomore setter, Meghan Binkerd. The other outside hitters on the first came from the GLIAC, as Northwood sophomore Juliia Pakhomenko and Ashland senior Brittany Snider were voted to the team. Both middle hitters on the first team were seniors and came from rival GLIAC schools in Sutton and Grand Valley State’s Eno Umoh. Merren was the only libero chosen to the first team.

Four schools (Ashland, Ferris State, Indianapolis, Lewis) had two players apiece named to the 14-member Midwest Region teams, while 10 institutions were represented overall.

Merren made the most of her first season as the squad’s libero as she compiled a team-leading 527 digs (4.50 avg.). She took over for 2011 GLIAC “Libero of the Year” Lisa Tobiczyk and recorded only 31 reception errors in 597 attempts (.948) in 117 sets.  This season, she also posted the school’s second-most assists (77) and was third on the team in service aces (27).  Merren placed third in the conference in total digs during the regular-season.

The duo helped Ferris State earn a bid into the 2012 NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Volleyball Tournament for the second straight year where FSU reached the regional semifinals this past weekend in Indianapolis, Ind. FSU made its 17th overall NCAA Division II Tournament appearance and posted a 24-8 overall record this campaign.

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