Dec. 12, 2012
Long Beach, Calif. - Sophomore middle blocker Chisom Okpala was selected as an Honorable Mention All-American by the American Volleyball Coaches Association, capping a breakout year. Okpala ranked in the Top 10 in the Big West in four categories, and led the 49ers in both hitting percentage and blocking in 2012.
Okpala, who coming into the season wasn't expected to start, instead blossomed in an increased role as returning starters Haleigh Hampton and Alma Serna combined to play only 30 sets over the season. The sophomore hit .328 and averaged 2.86 kills per set, second on the team, while making 1.17 blocks per set, which led the 49ers.
Her 224 kills in Big West play led Long Beach State, and Okpala was named both a first-team All-Big West and a first-team All-West Region selection.
Okpala becomes the 24th 49er in school history to receive All-American honors, and is slated to return in 2013 along with Hampton, who missed the 2012 campaign due to injury after earning All-America honors in 2011.
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