Birks, Beltran among best

Birks, Beltran among best

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Illini outside hitter Jocelynn Birks and libero Jennifer Beltran were selected to the All-Northeast Region team, and UI outside hitter Liz McMahon was an honorable-mention pick by the American Volleyball Coaches Association on Tuesday.

Birks, an All-Big Ten player, ranks fifth in the league and 40th in the nation in kills per set.

“Jocelynn has emerged as one of the better outsides in the league — and maybe in the country,” UI coach Kevin Hambly said. “Only time will tell.”

Beltran, Illinois’ all-time career digs leader, ranked third in the Big Ten in digs per set.

“I think Jen has separated herself as a libero this year,” Hambly said. “I thought she was the best libero in the league, and it is nice for her to get that recognition.”

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