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Pence ends senior season on high note

Moments in the Stegeman Coliseum during the volleyball match between Illinois State University and the University of Georgia on Saturday, August 25, 2018, in Athens, Georgia. (Photo/ Dori Butler, 6786288071)

One of 10 NCAA Division I volleyball student-athletes to be selected as a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award, Illinois State standout Courtney Pence was honored with a Second-Team Senior CLASS Award All-America nod by the organization in December.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete, and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. The award program is designed exclusively for college seniors who are utilizing their complete athletic eligibility, remaining committed to their university and pursuing the many rewards a senior season can bring.

“Courtney has exemplified what it means to have good character, serve her community and dominate in the classroom and on the court in her four seasons as a Redbird,” Head Coach Leah Johnson said. “She is very driven in all that she does, and we know that she will continue to be successful in whatever she does next.”

Pence is a three-time All-Missouri Valley Conference First Team selection and a two-time MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team honoree. Yesterday, Pence was named an American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-America Honorable Mention, becoming the first Redbird volleyball player in program history to earn All-America status multiple times after earning the distinction in 2017.

The 2018 MVC Libero of the Year broke the Valley all-time digs mark on Nov. 9 at Loyola Chicago, finishing her career fourth overall in NCAA Division I volleyball with 2,778 digs. She ranks second among all Division I volleyball players in digs per set (6.04) this season, while collecting the eighth most total digs (695) across the nation.

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