MANSFIELD, Mass. – The New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) announced its 2019 Women’s Volleyball All-Conference teams and major award winners on Monday afternoon. The awards were voted on by the conference’s eight coaches following the conclusion of the regular season. Five of the eight schools are represented on the two all-conference teams, with Eastern Nazarene College and New England College leading the way, with four and three selections, respectively. Elms College also picked up two major awards, with Eastern Nazarene and New England College nabbing the remaining two.
Eastern Nazarene setter Ruth Aguilar (Tegucigalpa, Honduras) was voted Player of the Year. Elms libero Kianna Lozada (Bayamon, P.R.) earned Defensive Player of the Year, while her teammate, outside hitter Natalia Caraballo was named Rookie of the Year. New England College head coach Kirsten Morrison was voted Coach of the Year by her peers.
Aguilar and Caraballo were voted onto the first team, and are joined by outside hitter Courtney McCarthy (Merrimack, N.H) of Eastern Nazarene, setter Dakota Stewart (Victoria, Texas) of Elms and outside hitters Tihani Ehia (Kaneohe, Hawaii) and Shirita Wimberly (Waipahu, Hawaii) of New England College.
Lozada headlines the second team, and is joined by fellow libero Joanna Bampi (Peabody, Mass.) of Becker. Eastern Nazarene placed two on the third team, with Halle Julian (Whitman, Mass.) and Rebecca Thorne (Quincy, Mass.) being honored. Two rookie defensive specialists close out the second team, as Olivia DeLoach (Spring Hill, Fla.) of Mitchell and Jaycie Kodama (Pauoa Valley, Hawaii) of New England College garnered the accolade.
NECC Player of the Year – Ruth Aguilar, Eastern Nazarene (So., S, Tegucigalpa, Honduras)
In her sophomore campaign, Aguilar led Eastern Nazarene to a 7-0 conference record, and the top seed in the 2019 NECC Women’s Volleyball Championship. Aguilar leads the NECC in overall kills per set at 3.67, and overall hitting percentage at .282. In conference play, Aguilar is in the top ten in the league in numerous categories, including kills per set (3.50-2nd), hitting percentage (.276-4th), assists per set (3.79-9th) and service aces per set (0.79-6th). She is also tops in conference play in total points with 107, and points per set at 4.5. The sophomore currently ranks in the top 20 in NCAA Division III in triple-doubles, with three. Aguilar was a six-time NECC Player of the Week selection (weeks ending 9/9/19, 9/16/19, 9/23/19, 9/30/19, 10/21/19, 11/14/19). She was also named the 2018 NECC Rookie of the Year.
NECC Defensive Player of the Year – Kianna Lozada, Elms College (So., L, Bayamon, P.R.)
The Elms College libero helped her team to a 5-2 conference record, and a No. 3 seed in the upcoming conference tournament in her sophomore season. Elms was tied for first in league play with 19.04 digs per set, behind Lozada’s 6.50 digs per set and 143 total digs, both tops in the NECC. Her 5.46 digs per set overall is also good for first in the league.
NECC Rookie of the Year – Natalia Caraballo, Elms College (Fr., OH/MH, Arlington, Texas)
The rookie made her mark in conference play, as Elms went 5-2 and secured the No. 3 seed in the NECC Women’s Volleyball Championship. She was third in the league in kills per set, with 3.42 in league action. Her .256 hitting percentage in NECC play was also good for top-five in the league, as was her 75.5 total points, and 4.0 points per set.
Coach of the Year – Kirsten Morrison, New England College
In her second year at the helm for the Pilgrims, Morrison led her team to a 6-1 conference record, and the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament. New England College led the league in assists (273) and service aces (81), as well as total blocks (37) and blocks per set (1.42). This is Morrison’s first NECC Coach of the Year award.
First Team All-NECC
Ruth Aguilar, Eastern Nazarene (So., S, Tegucigalpa, Honduras)
Courtney McCarthy, Eastern Nazarene (Sr., OH, Merrimack, N.H.)
Natalia Caraballo, Elms (Fr., OH/MH, Arlington, Texas)
Dakota Stewart, Elms (Jr., S, Victoria, Texas)
Tihani Ehia, New England Col. (So., OH, Kaneohe, Hawaii)
Shirita Wimberly, New England Col. (Fr., OH, Waipahu, Hawaii)
Second Team All-NECC
Joanna Bampi, Becker (So., L, Peabody, Mass.)
Halle Julian, Eastern Nazarene (So., MH, Whitman, Mass.)
Rebecca Thorne, Eastern Nazarene (Jr., OH, Quincy, Mass.)
Kianna Lozada, Elms (So., L, Bayamon, P.R.)
Olivia DeLoach, Mitchell (Fr., DS, Spring Hill, Fla.)
Jaycie Kodama, New England Col. (Fr., DS, Pauoa Valley, Hawaii)
Del Malloy Sportsmanship Team
Khalia Albury, Bay Path (Sr., Springfield, Mass.)
Olivia McGuiness, Becker (Sr., Colchester, Conn.)
Ashley Ribeiro, Dean (Fr., Central Falls, R.I.)
Gabrielle DiCamillo, Eastern Nazarene (So., Eighty-Four, Pa.)
Elese Ciarcia, Elms (So., Glastonbury, Conn.)
Cenera Davis, Lesley (Fr., Jersey City, N.J.)
Laurissa Amaker, Mitchell (Jr., North Haven, Conn.)
Maggie Dadmun, New England College (So., Cape Elizabeth, Maine)
ABOUT THE NECC
The NECC began competition in the 2008-09 academic year and current member institutions compete across 15 sports. The NECC membership focuses on providing athletic competition among institutions that share similar academic aspirations and are committed to the importance of the total educational experience for students engaged in sports. Current members include Bay Path University, Becker College, Dean College, Eastern Nazarene College, Elms College, Lesley University, Mitchell College and New England College.