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Williams, Gray nominated to WBCA All-America team

ATLANTA, GA. – The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced on Wednesday the All-Region nominees for the 2015 WBCA Division I Coaches’ All-America Team.

Both the Duke and North Carolina were represented on the Region 2 team by Blue Devils senior forward Elizabeth Williams and Tar Heels sophomore guard Allisha Gray.

The WBCA selection committee will subsequently select the 10-member All-America team from the 52 all-region candidates.

Joining Williams and Gray on the All-Region 2 team were Adut Bulgak (Florida State), Dearica Hamby (Wake Forest), Brianna Kiesel (Pittsburgh), Jewell Loyd (Notre Dame) and Brianna Turner (Notre Dame).

A senior from Virginia Beach, Va., Williams is averaging 14.4 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 3.1 blocks per contest heading into this weekend’s NCAA regional semifinals.

She has posted 10 double-doubles on the season and scored 20 or more points five times.

Williams leads the ACC and is tied for 13th nationally with her 3.1 blocks per game average, and sits just nine swats shy of setting the ACC record for career blocks. Her 426 career blocks rank her ninth in the NCAA record book.

A three-time Associated Press All-America selection, Williams was recently named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year for the fourth time in her career.

She also joined former Blue Devil Alana Beard as the only four-time All-ACC First Team selections in conference history.

Williams received espnW Second Team All-America and is one of 15 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award, college basketball’s most prestigious honor.

Williams and the 16th-ranked Blue Devils will head to Spokane, Washington later this week to face fourth-ranked Maryland in the NCAA Sweet 16.

The teams will square off Saturday, March 28 at 4:30 p.m. (ET) on ESPN, with the winner advancing to the Elite Eight.

Gray, a Sandersville, Georgia product was a first team All-ACC selection in 2014-15.

She leads UNC in scoring with 15.9 points per game, a figure that ranks her among the top-10 scorers in the ACC.

She also ranks second on the team with 7.6 rebounds and 45 steals.

She has scored in double figures in 31 of 34 games this season, and has reached the 20-point plateau on nine occasions, including 20 points against Ohio State on Monday to help advance her team to the Greensboro Regional semifinal game against top-seed South Carolina.

Tipoff on Friday at Greensboro Coliseum is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. on ESPN.

UNC WLAX beats Virginia Tech 14-5

BLACKSBURG, VA.—The North Carolina Tar Heels got multiple goals from five different players to beat Virginia Tech 14-5 on Wednesday.

The Tar Heels outshot the Hokies, 42-17, dominated on draws by a 14-7 margins, and forced 15 turnovers to earn the win.

Playing the first of three consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference road games, the Tar Heels improved to 9-2 overall and 2-1 in ACC action, while the Hokies fell to 5-7, 0-4.

Sydney Holman, Sam McGee and Maggie Bill all had two goals and one assist for the Tar Heels, who also got two goals from Molly Hendrick and Lindsay Scott.

Brittney Coppa, Marie McCool, Kelly Devlin and Sammy Jo Tracy all scored individual goals for Carolina.

Megan Will led the Hokies with three goals, while Kristine Loscalzo and Meg Bartley added one goal each.

Virginia Tech jumped out to a 2-0 lead on back-to-back goals by Will in the first four minutes of action.

The Hokies later led, 3-1, with 25:45 left in the opening half after Will answered Bill’s goal for the Tar Heels with her third score.

Carolina outscored the Hokies, 14-2, the rest of the way, starting with four consecutive goals by Coppa, Holman, Devlin and Bill.

Virginia Tech pulled within a goal at 5-4 after Loscalzo scored with 12:30 left in the first half.

The Tar Heels then scored eight goals in a row to build a 13-4 advantage.

UNC scored the last four goals of the first half and the first four of the second half, effectively putting the game out of reach with over 17 minutes remaining.

Caylee Waters (8-2) started in the goal for Carolina, making three saves and allowing four goals in earning the win in the cage.

Megan Ward played the second half, making six saves and allowing one goal.

Meagh Graham (4-7) went the distance in goal for the Hokies, making 14 saves and allowing 14 goals.

The Tar Heels will return to action on Sunday at Notre Dame before visiting Louisville on Sat., Apr. 4.

Carolina’s final regular season home game will come against Syracuse on Saturday Apr. 11 at Fetzer Field.

Boutier Receives Rookie of the Year at French Golf Awards in Paris

PARIS, FRANCEDuke Blue Devils junior Celine Boutier recently was named the winner of the Trophées du Golf : le Trophée de l’Espoir, which means Rookie of the Year, at the French Golf Awards.

Boutier, who is a native of Montrouge, France, could not attend the ceremony, but her brother Kevin accepted the award in her place.

Currently the No. 1 ranked amateur female golfer in the world amateur golf ranking system, Boutier is coming off an outstanding season of golf.

Boutier, the 2014 Golfweek and WGCA National Player of the Year, closed her sophomore campaign at Duke by leading the Blue Devils to the NCAA Championship in May and collecting three individual victories.

Following her play at Duke in May, Boutier featured a very busy and successful summer, which included qualifying for the U.S. Women’s Open for the first time in her career, before missing the cut in Pinehurst.

She placed tied for 29th overall at The Evian Championship, collected rounds of 71, 70, 70 and 73 at the Women’s World Amateur Team Championship to help her France squad place tied for 11th and advanced to the second round of match play at the U.S. Women’s Amateur.

Boutier guided her home country of France to the European Ladies Amateur Team Championship as the Duke junior posted a 6-0 record in match play over the three days.

Boutier and her Duke team will travel to Athens, Ga., this week for the Liz Murphey Collegiate Championship March 27-29.