Thursday, November 20, 2008

UAlbany Volleyball Garners Major Awards at America East Conference Banquet

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Albany, N.Y. – University at Albany’s Kamisha Kellam was named the America East Conference Volleyball Player of the Year, as announced by the league at the annual championship banquet held on Thursday evening at SEFCU Arena’s Hall of Fame Room. Sophomore Brooke Stanley earned the conference’s Setter of the Year award, while freshman Laurie Gonzalez was named the league’s Defensive Specialist of the Year.

Sophomore Amanda Cowdrey joined Kellam and Stanley on the all-conference first team, while Gonzalez and middle blocker Hillary White earned spots on the second team. Gonzalez and classmate Kalyn Mostert also earned all-rookie team honors.

A two-time all-conference first team member, Kellam led the conference, hitting at a .383 clip. She totaled 101 blocks, including 27 solo, which moved her into second place all-time in UAlbany’s career standings. In the conference regular-season finale against Stony Brook, Kellam recorded her 1,000th career kill. In America East matches, she averaged 2.78 kills per set with a .411 hitting percentage, tallying 1.00 block per set. Kellam becomes the fourth Great Dane in the last five seasons to receive the player of the year distinction from the conference.

Stanley averaged a league-leading 10.51 assists per set through the season. The most outstanding player of last year’s postseason tournament, Stanley quarterbacked the Great Danes to a league-high team hitting percentage of .277. The sophomore setter also averaged 2.30 digs per set, while finishing with 0.89 kills per set and recording 24 blocks and a team-high 31 assists. She also set an America East all-time best for hitting percentage in conference-only play, hitting at a .478 clip.

Gonzalez becomes the first rookie to win the defensive player of the year award since it was established in 2000. She averaged 4.08 digs overall and increased that average to 4.34 per set in conference play. Gonzalez had a streak of 15 straight matches with double-digit digs during the season, and recorded a season-high 28 digs in a five-set match against Long Island.

Cowdrey, last season’s rookie of the year, makes her first appearance on the all-conference first team after leading the Great Danes with 3.27 kills per set. She was also second with 2.85 digs and recorded 25 total blocks and 21 service aces. White, who returned to the court after missing last season, earned her second all-conference second team award, averaging 1.98 kills and 0.88 blocks per set. Mostert made an immediate impact on the court for UAlbany as a freshman, averaging 1.44 kills, 1.48 digs and 0.80 blocks per set.

UAlbany (20-8, AE 12-0) became just the third team to finish undefeated in conference play since 1998, when the league members began playing each other twice a season. The Great Danes claimed the regular-season title and will host the America East Conference Championship for the fourth time in the last five seasons on Nov. 21-22.

2008 America East Conference Volleyball All-Conference Teams

First Team

Amanda Cowdrey, UAlbany, Kamisha Kellam, UAlbany, Brooke Stanley, UAlbany, Anna Lejina, Binghamton, Michelle McDonough, Binghamton, Lindsey Mueller, Binghamton, Lindsay Allman, Maine

Second Team

Hillary White, UAlbany, Laurie Gonzalez, UAlbany, Alyssa Lang, UMBC, Bridget Scheetz, UMBC, Kirsten Bates, New Hampshire, Lindsay Fogarty, New Hampshire, Gulce Nazli Dikecligil, Stony Brook


Laurie Gonzalez, UAlbany, Kalyn Mostert, UAlbany, Alyssa Lang, UMBC, Allie Spaay, UMBC, Pauline Acres, New Hampshire, Lauren Laquerre, New Hampshire, Kelsey Sullivan, Stony Brook

Player of the Year: Kamisha Kellam, UAlbany

Setter of the Year: Brooke Stanley, UAlbany

Defensive Specialist of the Year: Laurie Gonzalez, UAlbany

Rookie of the Year: Alyssa Lang, UMBC

Coach of the Year: Glen Kiriyama, Binghamton

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