Central Islip, N.Y. - For the second consecutive year, Maja Potpara (Pljevlja, Montenegro), a sophomore setter and right side from Dowling College, has been selected the 2009 ECC Volleyball Player of the Year. NYIT sophomore Lisa Peacock (Lindenhurst, N.Y.) has been tabbed Libero of the Year while Dowling's freshman outside hitter Bethany Shepard (Lackwood, Colo.) rounds out the top award winners, garnering Rookie of the Year honors.
Potpara had another outstanding year. The two-time ECC Player of the Year ranks third in the conference in service aces per game (.54), seventh in assists per game (5.96), eighth in blocks per game (.65) and compiled a .287 hitting percentage which ranks her among the top five in the conference. This season, Potpara tallied three triple-doubles and notched a conference-high fifteen double-doubles.
Peacock anchored the NYIT defense this season, averaging a conference best 3.90 digs per game. She scooped up double-digit digs on 23 occasions, including two matches where she tallied over 30 digs. Additionally, Peacock was a threat from the service line as she finished the regular season with 43 aces.
Shepard had a standout freshman year, leading the Golden Lions with 260 total kills. She ranked ninth in the conference in kills per game (2.55) and hitting percentage (.260) while cracking the top ten in digs per game (2.49). Shepard notched seven double-doubles on the season, hitting into the double digits 11 times while scooping up double figure digs in 12 matches.
First year head coaches Shellane Ogoshi (C.W. Post) and Leo Uzcategui (University of Bridgeport) have been selected Co-Coaches of the Year, as voted on by their peers. Ogoshi led the Pioneers to a 14-13 regular season finish with an 8-4 mark in conference play to capture the No.3 seed in the ECC Tournament. Uzcategui guided the Purple Knights to a 29-6 regular season finish and the No. 2 seed in the ECC Tournament. This year, his squad broke the program's single-season win record which was set last year at 28.
Potpara and Shepard are joined teammates Monika Kasperek (Jr., MB) and Patrycja Klekotka (Sr., OH) as well as Bridgeport's Agatha Baliddawa (Gr., OH) and Terry Masava (Jr., OH) on the All-Conference First Team.
The All-Conference Second Team recipients include: Camila Dantas (So., OH, Queens), Kerri Heitner (Sr., MB, C.W. Post), Shelby Klein (Sr., OH, NYIT), Juliana Moraes (Sr., RS, Bridgeport), Angelica Nicalek (So., RS, Molloy) and Kristen Taylor (Fr., MB, C.W. Post).
2009 ECC Volleyball All-Conference Teams
Agatha Baliddawa, Gr., OH, Bridgeport
Monika Kasperek, Jr., MB, Dowling
Patrycja Klekotka, Sr., OH, Dowling
Terry Masava, Jr., OH, Bridgeport
Maja Potpara, So., RS/S, Dowling
Bethany Shepard, Fr., OH, Dowling
Camila Dantas, So., OH, Queens
Kerri Heitner, Sr., MB, C.W. Post
Shelby Klein, Sr., OH, NYIT
Juliana Moraes, Sr., RS, Bridgeport
Angelica Nicalek, So., RS, Molloy
Kristen Taylor, Fr., MB, C.W. Post
Player of the Year: Maja Potpara, So., RS/S, Dowling
Libero of the Year: Lisa Peacock, So., L, NYIT
Rookie of the Year: Bethany Shepard, Fr., OH, Dowling
Coaches of the Year: Shellane Ogoshi, C.W. Post and Leo Uzcategui, Bridgeport