AMES, Iowa – Iowa State had four players named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-Region team, announced on Tuesday. For the second-consecutive year, Jess Schaben was named to the AVCA All-Midwest Region Team and was joined by first-time honorees Hali Hillegas and Samara West. Alexis Conaway earned All-Midwest Region Honorable Mention, her first AVCA honor as well.
Schaben is the eighth Cyclone to earn two All-Region Team honors. Counting Honorable Mentions, which Schaben got in 2015, Schaben is the fourth Cyclone to be recognized as All-Region three times (Ashley Mass 2008-10, Victoria Henson 2008-10, Jamie Straube 2010-12). Hillegas and West become the 13th and 14th Cyclones to earn AVCA All-Region Team honors, 13 of whom have come under head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch. Hillegas is the fifth Cyclone sophomore to earn All-Region First Team, joining Schaben (2016), Mackenzie Bigbee (2013) and Henson and Mass (2008).
Conaway’s spot on the Honorable Mention list marks 20 Cyclones who have earned an AVCA All-Region honor in program history.
Schaben stepped up her all-around play in 2017, leading Iowa State with 3.31 kills per set and ranking second on the squad with 3.06 digs per set. A two-time All-Big 12 First Team honoree to go with her pair of AVCA All-Midwest Region First Team awards, Schaben became the first Cyclone to record a 300 kill-300 dig season since Carly Jenson in 2011.
Hillegas, who has also picked up Big 12 Libero of the Year and All-Big 12 First Team honors in the postseason awards haul, led the Big 12 and ranks 15th in the NCAA with her 5.60 digs per set. The Charles City native had at least 10 digs in every match this season, and had 13 matches with at least 20 digs in the campaign.
West also did the All-Big 12 First Team/All-Midwest Region First Team double in 2017. The redshirt senior from Omaha ranked second on the Cyclones with 2.91 kills per set at a team-high .294 hitting percentage. She had at least 10 kills in a match 15 times this season, and finished her ISU career with a .302 hitting percentage, the third player in program history to hit over .300 for her career (Jen Malcom, Jamie Straube).
Conaway made the move from middle blocker to outside hitter in September, which helped propel the Cyclones on their way in 2017. She became the first Cyclone since Alison Landwehr in 2011 to have a “Triple-Triple” season, finishing with 238 kills, 179 digs and 103 blocks. She became the first Cyclone since Straube to have two 100-block seasons in her ISU career.