Five Blue Hens Voted to All-CAA Teams, Three Earn Top Honors
November 19, 2010
Photos Courtesy of Cindy Gregory
NEWARK, Del. - - Five standouts student-athletes on the University of Delaware volleyball team were named to the All-Colonial Athletic Association Volleyball Teams, as Jess Chason, Greta Gibboney and head coach Bonnie Kenny took home top honors from the volleyball banquet Friday night, held at Clayton Hall.
Chason was named 2010 Setter of the Year while Gibboney was tabbed the 2010 Defensive Specialist of the Year. Kenny earned Co-Coach of the Year honors after leading the Blue Hens to a 24-5 overall record and the top seed in this weekend’s CAA Volleyball Championship by going 13-1 in the conference.
Joining Chason and Gibboney on the first team is fellow senior Katie Dennehy (above middle). Paige Erickson and Alissa Alker were named to the third team.
Chason (at left) becomes the first Blue Hen and the third player in conference history to earn back-to-back Setter of the Year honors. She led the CAA in assists per game, dishing out a career best 10.41 assists a set. She quarterbacked an offense that led Delaware to a league-high hitting percentage of .220 and the 19th-best record in the nation. Chason finished as the lone setter in the CAA with more than 10 assists per set. Even more impressively, she upped her game in conference play as she handed out 10.70 assists a game. She has a total of 1093 assists on the year.
Gibboney (below) earned the Defensive Specialist of the Year on the heels of a career season. She becomes the second Blue Hen to earn the award, following two-time All-American libero, and the 2008 award winner, Stephanie Barry. Gibboney has led the CAA the entire season, and heads into the tournament with a nationally 9th best 5.64 digs per set. It is the second high average for a season in Blue Hen history. She has totaled 603 digs in her first season as the starting libero. The co-captain is also one of the team’s best servers with a .959 success rate on serves.
Dennehy led the Blue Hens attack this season with 3.30 kills per set. She has hit at a .227 clip on the season, totaling 350 kills. The six-rotation player also has 217 digs and 52 blocks on the season, leading the team in aces (37) and points per set (3.91). Dennehy has been named to the All-CAA teams all four years, earning All-Rookie in 2007 before jumping to the second-team as a sophomore. She was named to the third-team a season ago, and was on the Preseason All-CAA team this year.
The third-team selection is Erickson’s first selection to the All-CAA teams as a senior. She has been a staple at the net for the Blue Hens all season long, leading the team in blocks (137) and blocks per set (1.25). Those numbers place her second in the CAA in both categories. She is fourth on the team in kills per set (2.15) but tops among the starters with a .293 hitting percentage. Erickson (below on right) has 18 solo blocks to her name, as well as 116 block assists.
Alker (at left on left) earns a spot on the third-team along with Erickson, after being named to the All-Rookie team as a freshman. The sophomore is second on the team in most offensive categories, and the only other Blue Hen besides Dennehy above three kills a game. She averages 3.02 terminations a set, hitting at a .246 clip. She is third on the team in digs, posting 252 and 2.36 a set. She has the second most blocks on the team with four solos and 61 block assists for a total of 65. Alker’s 3.53 points per game is second best on the team.
Kenny’s (below on right) Co-Coach of the Year honor is her fourth in her nine-year tenure at the helm of the Blue Hens. She led the team to its second-consecutive conference title this season with a program best 13-1 record and is making its fifth-straight CAA Tournament appearance this weekend. The Blue Hens are attempting to capture their third tournament championship in four years. Kenny’s has mastered the Blue Hens to the 11th longest home winning streak in the nation (15 matches) and has coached them to 12 consecutive victories and 18 of their last 20.
Delaware led the league with three players on the All-CAA First Team, and had a league best five players named to the first second or third team. Joining Chason, Gibboney and Dennehy on the first team is Britney Brown (Northeastern), Lindsay Callahan (JMU), and Vineece Verndun (Georgia State).
Brown was named Player of the Year while Northeastern freshman Janelle Tucker and George Mason freshman Lana Zonjic were named Co-Rookies of the Year. JMU’s Lauren Steinbrecher was also named Co-Coach of the Year in her first season with the Dukes.
The CAA Volleyball Tournament will begin on Saturday, November 20 with two semifinal matches. The first match features #2 James Madison and #3 Northeastern at 5 p.m. #1 Delaware will take on #4 VCU in the second semifinal starting at 7:30 p.m. The winners of each semifinal will meet in the championship on Sunday at 5 p.m. All matches are being played on Viera Court at the Carpenter Sports Building.
First Team: Britney Brown, Northeastern; Lindsay Callahan, James Madison; Jess Chason, Delaware; Katie Dennehy, Delaware; Greta Gibboney, Delaware; Vineece Verdun, Georgia State
Second Team: Ginny Bray, William & Mary; Kelsie Clegg, VCU; Danielle Erb, James Madison; Noelle Fanella, George Mason; Mariel Frey, VCU; Jessica LaScola, Northeastern
Third Team: Natalie Abel, James Madison; Alissa Alker, Delaware; Paige Erickson, Delaware; Holly Goode, George Mason; Ashley Jones, Georgia State; Janelle Tucker, Northeastern
All-Rookie Team: Celine Alasomuka, William & Mary; Ciara Brown, VCU; Katy Buck, Towson; Katie Daorai, James Madison; Janelle Tucker, Northeastern; Lana Zonjic, George Mason
2010 CAA Player of the Year: Britney Brown, Northeastern
2010 CAA Setter of the Year: Jess Chason, Delaware
2010 CAA Defensive Specialist of the Year: Greta Gibboney, Delaware
2010 CAA Co-Rookies of the Year: Janelle Tucker, Northeastern and Lana Zonjic, George Mason
2010 CAA Co-Coaches of the Year: Bonnie Kenny, Delaware and Lauren Steinbrecher, James Madison
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