ST. LOUIS – Southern Illinois senior libero Katy Kluge and sophomore outside hitter Tatum Tornatta have been named to Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete Teams, the league announced Tuesday. Kluge earned MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team honors while Tornatta claimed Scholar-Athlete Honorable Mention recognition.
It marks the third-straight season in which the Salukis have placed multiple student-athletes on MVC Scholar-Athlete teams. SIU has earned at least one honoree in 28 of the 29 years in which the awards have been given out.
Kluge earned the second-straight MVC Scholar-Athlete honor of her career after she had a productive season as SIU’s libero. The senior from Oconomowoc, Wis. finished sixth in the Valley in both digs per set (4.28) and total aces (34). Earlier this season she became just the 12th Saluki in program history to reach the 1,000 career dig plateau. A marketing major at SIU with an outstanding 3.90 grade point average, Kluge notched double-digit digs in 27 of SIU’s 31 matches this season, which includes eight matches with 20 or more digs.
Tornatta was named MVC Scholar-Athlete Honorable Mention after she put together a solid sophomore campaign. The Evansville, Ind. native finished 11th in the MVC in total kills (316) and put down double-digit kills in 16 matches, which included a season-high 18 in a four-set match against Loyola on Sept. 25. The sophomore outside hitter hit over .350 seven times, which included a career-best .532 with 12 kills on 19 swings with no errors in SIU’s sweep of Mississippi Valley State on Aug. 28. Tornatta is a biological sciences major at SIU with an impressive 3.85 GPA.
The criteria for the scholar-athlete team balloting parallels the CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) standards for Academic All-America voting. Nominees must be starters or important reserves, have played at least 75-percent of a team’s games, and must carry at least a 3.20 GPA (on a 4.0 scale).