Central Islip, N.Y. – For the second
consecutive year the volleyball coaches of the ECC have voted
graduate student outside hitter/setter, Biljana Savic (Novi Sad,
Serbia) from the University of Bridgeport as the conference's
Player of the Year. A pair of Dowling teammates, Kayla Morgan
(Lindenhurst, N.Y.) and Kayla Dillman (Rochester, N.Y.), were named
the conference’s Libero of the Year and the Setter of the
Year, while LIU Post's Danielle Valenza (Hauppauge, N.Y.) earns the
Rookie of the Year honor.
Savic, wraps up her stellar career at Bridgeport with her second straight Player of the Year honor and fourth straight selection to the All-Conference First Team. Savic once again showcased an all-around game, excelling at multiple positions and stuffing the stat sheet for the Purple Knights. In 24 matches, Savic ranked in the top 20 in the ECC with 201 kills, 2.48 kills per set, a .209 hitting percentage, 429 assists, 5.30 assists per set, and finished second in the conference with 45 service aces and 0.56 service aces per set. Her contributions didn't end there, as she added 170 digs and 33 total blocks as well.
Morgan anchored the Golden Lions' defense this season with an ECC-leading 512 digs and 4.97 digs per set. Morgan's serve was lethal as well, as she ranks atop the conference's leader board with 50 service aces and finished third with 0.49 service aces per set.
Dillman is the recipient of the conference's first-ever Setter of the Year award. Despite missing seven mid-season matches due to an injury, the four-time ECC Setter of the Week still leads the ECC with 848 assists on the season. In addition, her assist per set total of 11.01 is more than 1.5 assist ahead of the next highest total in the ECC and ranks her 25th nationally across all of Division II.
Valenza had an impressive debut season wearing the green and gold of LIU Post. The freshman led the Pioneers and ranked fourth in the ECC with 322 kills and also ranked in the conference’s top-10 with 2.98 kills per set. Valenza, a two-time recipient of the ECC Rookie of the Week award, added a .207 hitting percentage, 194 digs, and 56 total blocks to her season totals.
Kevin DesLauriers, head coach at Dowling, has been selected as Coach of the Year by his peers. In his second year at the helm, DesLauriers led the Golden Lions to a 21-8 overall record and a 13-3 mark in the ECC to earn the No. 2 seed in the upcoming conference tournament. Under his guidance, Dowling's ECC win total jumped by three games from a season ago and the total of overall wins is already two better than last season with post-season play still to commence.
Joining Savic on the All-Conference First Team are Kate Brock (Jr., MH, River Edge, N.J.) of NYIT, Jessica Kalbfleisch (Jr., OH, Ridge, N.Y.) of Dowling, Larissa Oliveira (Sr., MB, Belo Horizonte, Brazil) and Sarah Rosa (Jr., OH, Itajuba, Brazlil) of Bridgeport, and Jordan Wilson (Sr., MB, Vista, Calif.) of Roberts Wesleyan.
Morgan is joined on the All-Conference Second Team by Arielle DiCocco (Jr., RS, Blue Point, N.Y.) of Queens, Melissa Hansen (Jr., MH, Colorado Springs, Colo.) of LIU Post, Kendall Havener (Sr., MB, Alpine, Calif.) of Roberts Wesleyan, Katarzyna Klocek (So., RS, Poznan, Poland) of Dowling, and Brenna White (Sr., OH, Gardnerville, Nev.) of Mercy.
Both Dillman and Valenza wrap up the All-Conference honorees as Honorable Mention selections.
Kate Brock - Jr., MH, NYIT
Jessica Kalbfleisch - Jr., OH, Dowling
Larissa Oliveira - Sr., MB, Bridgeport
Sarah Rosa - Sr., OH, Bridgeport
Biljana Savic - Gr., OH/S, Bridgeport
Jordan Wilson - Sr., MB, Roberts Wesleyan
Arielle DiCocco - Jr., RS, Queens
Melissa Hansen - Jr., MH, LIU Post
Kendall Havener - Sr., MB, Roberts Wesleyan
Katarzyna Klocek - So., RS, Dowling
Kayla Morgan - Jr., L, Dowling
Brenna White - Sr. OH, Mercy
Kayla Dillman - Jr., S, Dowling
Danielle Valenza - Fr., MB/OH/RS, LIU Post
Player of the Year: Biljana Savic - Bridgeport
Libero of the Year: Kayla Morgan - Dowling
Setter of the Year: Kayla Dillman - Dowling
Rookie of the Year: Danielle Valenza - LIU Post
Coach of the Year: Kevin DesLauriers - Dowling