Valparaiso tied for league-high honors by placing three players on the Horizon League All-League Team, as the league announced its year-end awards on Wednesday. Kim Bukowski (Waukesha, Wis./West), Angie Porché (Lynwood, Ill./Thornton Fractional South) and Taylor Root (Jenison, Mich./Jenison) all represented the Crusaders on the All-League squad, while Root also was named Newcomer of the Year and earned a spot on the All-Newcomer Team.
Root became the first Crusader rookie to earn a league specialty award and earn All-League honors since Porché was honored as the Mid-Continent Conference Freshman of the Year in 2006. The freshman libero led the Horizon League this year overall with 4.93 digs/set, and increased her rate of digs to 5.31/set in league play, good for second among league players. Her 542 total digs this season is a new Valpo freshman single-season record, and ranks sixth in Crusader single-season history, just one dig shy of the fifth spot. Root earned Horizon League Defensive Player of the Week honors twice on the season (Oct. 12, Oct. 26).
Bukowski earned a spot on the All-League squad for a second straight season after helping to guide the Crusaders to top-15 ranks nationally in both kills/set and assists/set. The senior setter has averaged 10.08 assists/set on the season and increased her distribution to 11.40 assists/set in league play, second-most in the league. An AVCA Honorable Mention All-Midwest Region selection a year ago, Bukowski has totaled 1,129 assists to date this year and now has 3,491 career assists, third-most in Crusader history. Bukowski earned Horizon League Offensive Player of the Week recognition this year on Nov. 9.
Porché earned All-League honors for the fourth straight year, becoming the first Crusader since Kelly Schoenhoft (1995-98) to receive year-end recognition in each of her four seasons. This year, Porché ranks second in the league in all matches with 3.83 kills/set and has upped her production to 4.34 kills/set in league-only action, tops among all Horizon League athletes. She has also gotten the job done on the defensive side of the ball, picking up 2.64 digs/set on the season. Last weekend, she surpassed the 2,000 kill and 5,000 attack milestones for her career, both far and away Crusader career records. Porché earned Horizon League Offensive Player of the Week accolades twice this year (Sept. 21, Oct. 19).