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Hawks' Tekiel an All-American

December 01, 2007|By DAN KAUFFMAN

Most volleyball players don't have to be told what being named to the All-America First Team means.

Hagerstown Community College freshman Magda Tekiel isn't like most players.

After leading NJCAA Division II in kills per game this season, Tekiel - a native of Warsaw, Poland - was rewarded with the honor, announced Friday.

"I never heard about this kind of award, but everyone was telling me that's the biggest award you can get here, so I'm really happy about it," Tekiel said.

"We had to explain what it was," Hawks coach Beth Domenico said. "(When) she got named to the all-tournament team (at nationals) and they called her out on the floor, they gave her a medal and it was unreal the way she looked at that thing. She really took it seriously and it was a very big accomplishment for her, just to be all-tournament, never mind an All-American."

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Tekiel dominated from her left-side hitting spot, leading the nation with her 5.49 kills per game. Of players who averaged more than two kills per game, Tekiel was third in hitting efficiency at 53.09 percent. She was also a threat at the service line, averaging 0.98 aces per game - also third nationally.

Her performance at the national tournament - in which she had 112 kills in four matches and averaged seven kills per game - helped cement her spot as an All-American.

"It was really fun to play there," said Tekiel, who will move on to a four-year college next season, most likely American University. "We have real good competition for the first time because the teams were so good, and we had a great time. I would like to do it once again."

"When they pick the All-Americans, they usually have to see them perform at nationals," Domenico said. "She performed very consistently. We knew she would get something, we were just hoping it was first team. The coaches who came up to us told us she should definitely get it, and we were hoping the vote saw it through with what everyone else told us."

While initially concerned with how Tekiel would fit in with the team early this season, Domenico's fears quickly vanished.

"We could not have done any better with our first international player, personality-wise, academic-wise, she all-around is a great, great person," Domenico said. "She was a leader, and her famous quote was 'It's all in your head' and she used that all the time. If one of her teammates was struggling, that's what she would tell them. She was a very strong player and person and she deserves that honor more than anything."

Tekiel is the second HCC player to be named an All-American, joining Lindsey Plotner, who made the team in 2005.

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