Rathje, Abron earn All-Big Ten honors
Senior outside hitter Kyndra Abron spikes the ball while Purdue setter Rachel Davis attempts to block the ball. The Spartans fell to the Boilermakers, 3-1, Saturday night at Jenison Field House. Justin Wan/The State News
Not surprisingly, when the Big Ten released its annual postseason awards Tuesday afternoon, there were a couple MSU volleyball players on the list.
Senior outside hitters Jenilee Rathje and Kyndra Abron both were honored for their play in the 2011 regular season, with Rathje claiming unanimous first team All-Big Ten honors while Abron raked in an honorable mention.
Rathje — who ranks among the best volleyball players in MSU history — also was named MSU’s sportsmanship award winner.
In her fifth year with the Spartans, Rathje has recorded 487 kills, averaging 4.27 kills per set, good enough for third in the conference and 25th in the nation. She also chipped in on the defensive effort, tallying 243 digs and 60 blocks on her way to eight double-doubles.
Abron was the other half of MSU’s strong offensive attack, racking up 391 kills on the year, good enough for second on the team. She also had a career-high .275 hitting percentage and added 86 blocks at the net.
The pair will hope to continue their success, and MSU’s season, Friday when they take on Arizona in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.