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Volleyball team's Gabi Eustache earns AVCA All-Region honors

Gabi Eustache earned AVCA All-Region honors on Nov. 9, 2017, a day after being named NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- A day after being named NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year and First Team All-NESCAC, Bates sophomore libero Gabi Eustache was also named Division III All-Northeast Region Thursday by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA), becoming Bates' first AVCA All-Region selection since Olivia Zurek in 2004.

Eustache (New York, N.Y.) followed up on her outstanding first year as Bates' libero by improving from 5.01 digs per set in 2016 to 5.77 digs per set in 2017. In NESCAC games, Eustache's average jumped to 6.89 digs per set, ranking first in the conference. While popping up countless spikes and perfectly passing countless serves in Bates' back row, Eustache also ranked second on the Bobcats in assists with 0.45 per set.

Eustache became Bates' first NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year as well as a First Team All-NESCAC selection, while senior setter Jacqueline Forney was named Second Team All-NESCAC.

Bates finished the season with a 12-14 record, the Bobcats' most victories since 2009. With players like Forney and Eustache providing the backbone for the Bates attack by hitters such as sophomore Taylor Stafford-Smith (Calabasas, Calif.), first-year Angel Echipue (Munich, Germany), first-year Ruby Lightbourn (Los Angeles, Calif.), junior Claire Naughton (Darien, Conn.) and first-year Delaney Mayfield (Santa Barbara, Calif.), Bates made its third consecutive appearance in the NESCAC tournament.

AVCA Division III Regional Awards