2008
Leyden earns volleyball All-America status

Leyden earns volleyball All-America status
November 19, 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 selected as a 2008 NCAA Division III Honorable Mention All-America by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). Leyden was also named first team all-region this season by the AVCA, as well as all-region honorable mention as a freshman in 2007. Leyden is a two-time first team All-Northern Athletics Conference selection, as well. “We are all very proud of Kayla on receiving this honor,” said Benedictine’s head coach Jennifer Wildes. “There is truly no one more deserving when it comes to work ethic and in terms of what she means to our program. To be just a sophomore and listed among so many outstanding volleyball players for the entire country for NCAA Division III is special in itself.” On the year, Leyden was arguably one of the top all-around players, as she averaged 4.02 kills per game for the Eagles’ on offense 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 the model of consistency, posting 26 matches with double-figure kill totals, including 10 with 20 or more kills. She had a season-high 25 kills in a five-set win over NCAA playoff team North Central College on October 31, 2008. On the year, Leyden had 20 “double-double” matches with double-digit totals in both kills and digs. 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.