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C of I volleyball star Whitney Brigham named NAIA All-American

December 8, 2011

Days after leading The College of Idaho volleyball team to the best finish in program history at the NAIA National Championships (fifth place), senior libero Whitney Brigham capped an amazing career by becoming the Coyotes’ first-ever NAIA First-Team All-American, announced Dec. 5 by the NAIA national office in Kansas City, Mo.

Brigham, from Vallivue High School in Caldwell, had an outstanding run in Sioux City, Iowa, leading the tournament in digs en route to All-Tournament honors.  For the season, Brigham averaged 6.22 digs per set – fourth in the NAIA – and recorded 703 overall digs. She finished her career with 2,359 digs, the most in both school and conference history. She was named this year’s Cascade Conference Player of the Year and American Volleyball Coaches Association Northwest Region Player of the Year. During her career, Brigham also was an honorable mention All-American (2010), a three-time All-CCC selection, a three-time CCC Libero of the Year and a league-record 20-time CCC Libero of the Week.

“Whitney brought the limelight to the libero position,” said C of I coach Liz Mendiola. “She is the first libero in the nation ever to be named NAIA First Team All-American.  I am thrilled to see her receive such well-deserved recognition and I can’t say enough about what she has done for our program.  Her legacy will live on for a long, long time.”

Two of Brigham’s teammates also were honored as NAIA All-Americans as opposite hitter Kylee Nawahine and middle blocker Torrey Hulsey earned honorable mention status. Nawahine racked up 326 kills, 226 digs and 86 blocks while leading the team with 33 service aces, while Hulsey had 329 kills and a team-high 128 blocks on the year. 

Five C of I volleyball players have earned second-team All-America honors: Kristyn Price (2002), Erin Cherrington (2006), Katie Hogue (2007), Naomi Reimer (2009) and Sarah Harris (2010).

Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. It has a century-old tradition of educating some of the most accomplished graduates in Idaho, including six Rhodes Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, and another ten Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College is located on a beautiful campus in Caldwell, Idaho. Its distinctive PEAK curriculum challenges students to attain competencies in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field, enabling them to graduate with an academic major and three minors in four years. For more information on The College of Idaho, visit