2008
Leyden earns first team All-Region volleyball honors

Leyden earns first team All-Region volleyball honors
November 14, 2008

Dave Beyer, Sports Information Director
(630) 829-6143
dbeyer@ben.edu

Benedictine University sophomore outside hitter Kayla Leyden (Elgin, Ill./St. Edward Catholic H.S.) has been named to the 2008 All-Midwest Region First Team for NCAA Division III by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). Leyden was one of just two sophomores to be honored on the all-region list for the Midwest. As a First Team honoree, Leyden is now also eligible for All-America consideration. She was also an honorable mention selection on AVCA’s All-Midwest Region team as a freshman in 2007 and has been a two-time first team All-Northern Athletics Conference (NAC) selection, as well. “This award is a great honor for Kayla and for our entire program,” said Benedictine head coach Jennifer Wildes. “To be recognized in our region – which has many outstanding volleyball programs – as just a sophomore says a lot about Kayla’s abilities. I believe we are just beginning to see how talented she really is and only beginning to scratch the surface of her potential. “Kayla is also such a team player that she elevates the game of those around her. Likewise, even awards and honors like this to her are secondary to the success of the team as a whole. She is very good about keeping things in perspective.” On the year, Leyden was arguably one of the top all-around players in the NAC and the region, as she averaged 4.02 kills per game for the Eagles’ attack and amassed 4.01 digs per game on the defensive side of the net. Leyden was the only NAC player to be among the league’s top 10 in both of those categories, ranking first in kills and fourth in digs. She also had a team-leading .224 attack percentage (ninth in the NAC) and was second on the Benedictine team with 37 serve aces. Leyden was twice named as the NAC “Student-Athlete of the Week” during the course of the 2008 season, leading the Eagles to a 17-16 overall record on a team that lost four starters from the previous season. In addition to being named All-NAC as a freshman in 2007, Leyden was named as the Conference’s “Rookie of the Year” and selected to the “All-Rookie Team.”

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Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate and four doctorate programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private nonprofit master’s universities, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011.