Leenstra Named First Team All-Northwest Conference in Volleyball

Waltz Earns Honorable Mention for Second Year in a Row

By John Lind, Assistant Athletics Communications Director

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University athletes Madisyn Leenstra (Sr., OH/MH, Bellingham, WA/Sehome HS) and Shannon Waltz (Jr., MH, Honolulu, HI/La Pietra HS) have been named to the 2012 All-Northwest Conference Volleyball Team in voting by the league's head coaches. Leenstra received First Team All-NWC honors, while Waltz was chosen Honorable Mention All-NWC for the second consecutive season.

Leenstra became the first Willamette volleyball player to earn First Team All-NWC recognition since 2004, when two Bearcats, Kristen Halleck and Angie Sammons, were selected.

Overall, a total of 22 athletes were named to the 2012 All-NWC Volleyball Team. Seven players were selected for the First Team, with six players on the Second Team and nine players chosen for Honorable Mention. Jackie Harvey of Puget Sound was named Player of the Year, while Blair Bjorkman and Kevin Aoki of Pacific Lutheran were named Libero of the Year and Coach of the Year, respectively.

Madisyn Leenstra Madisyn Leenstra (Sr., OH/MH)

Leenstra was consistently Willamette's top offensive performer during the 2012 season. She recorded double-digit kills in 14 of the Bearcats' 23 matches, including a season-high 28 versus Lewis & Clark on Oct. 5. She also recorded double-digit digs nine times during the season, with a career high of 20 against L&C.

Leenstra was Willamette's leader in kills (284) and total attacks (829) this season. She also ranked first on the team with 3.30 kills per set and 25 service aces for the season. She attained a .230 hitting percentage.

During her career with the Bearcats, Leenstra played in 94 matches and 299 sets. She achieved 697 career kills to go with a .213 career hitting percentage. She accumulated 163 blocks in her career (0.55 avg.).

The award marks Leenstra's second straight year with All-NWC status, as she was named Honorable Mention All-NWC in 2011.

Shannon Waltz Shannon Waltz (Jr., MH)

Waltz led the Bearcats with an impressive .301 hitting percentage. She registered 125 kills during the season (2.02 avg.) and ranked second on the team with 19 service aces (0.31 avg.).

Defensively, Waltz was second on the team with 72 total blocks (7 solos, 65 assists), as she averaged 1.16 blocks per set. She earned 12 kills against Lewis & Clark on Oct. 5 and achieved another 11 kills versus Pacific Lutheran on Oct. 27.

In three seasons at Willamette, Waltz has provided the Bearcats with 347 kills, an average of 1.64 kills per set, and a remarkable .262 career hitting percentage. She also has produced 186 blocks (0.88 avg.).

Waltz played in 17 matches this season (14 starts) and saw action in 62 sets, despite missing the early part of the season due to injury. In 2011, she played in all 25 matches (23 starts) with a total of 80 sets played.

Willamette's Season

The Bearcats concluded the 2012 season with a 9-14 overall record, including 7-9 in the Northwest Conference (5th place tie). Willamette went 5-3 during the second half of the NWC schedule. During the first half of the NWC schedule, WU defeated the University of Puget Sound, 3-2 on Sept. 28, when the Loggers were ranked #10 in NCAA Division III.

All-Northwest Conference
Volleyball Team for 2012
Madisyn Leenstra topped the WU offense with 284 kills this season.

Madisyn Leenstra topped the WU offense with 284 kills this season.

 Shannon Waltz led the Bearcats with a career high .301 hitting percentage.

Shannon Waltz led the Bearcats with a career high .301 hitting percentage.