University of Delaware Outside Hitters Alissa Alker and Kim Stewart Named to Pre-season All-CAA Team
August 23, 2011
File Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
RICHMOND, Va. -- After being voted as the team to beat in the CAA Pre-season Coaches’ Poll last week, the University of Delaware volleyball team was the only team to place two members on the Pre-season All-CAA team announced by the conference office Tuesday.
In a vote by the league coaches, junior Alissa Alker and senior Kim Stewart have been selected to the 2011 All-CAA squad prior to the start of the upcoming season.
Alker (above right), a third team All-CAA selection last year, finished fourth in the CAA in points (431.0) a season ago. The outside hitter also ranked fourth in the conference in kills (369) on the way to helping Delaware claim the 2010 CAA Volleyball Tournament championship.
The six-rotation player shined the brightest during the CAA Tournament, collecting 31 kills, 25 digs, 10 blocks and a service ace during the two playoffs matches. She tallied a double-double (16 kills, 17 digs) in the championship match against Northeastern, and set off the celebration in the fifth set with a championship point block assist. She was named to the CAA All-Tournament team for her effort.
Stewart (below right) ranked second for the Blue Hens in service aces (35) and was third in kills (302). She was also ninth in the CAA in serviced aces per set (0.29). Stewart was named the 2008 CAA Rookie of the Year and a third team All-CAA member as well as a second team selection in 2009.
The senior captain stepped up when it mattered most as well, combining 27 kills, 28 digs, three blocks and an ace during the two CAA Tournament matches. She also tallied a double-double (12 kills, 19 digs) in the title match to earn her spot on the All-Tournament team.
Stewart also was recognized for her play during the Delaware Invitational and the Notre Dame Invitational, earning a spot on each of the All-Tournament teams. Her season concluded with being named a COBRA Magazine All-Northeast Region and COBRA Magazine All-National honorable mention selection.
Georgia State senior middle blocker Vineece Verdun was selected as the 2011 CAA Pre-season Volleyball Player of the Year after finishing the 2010 season ranked first in the league in points (460.5) and points per set (4.19). She also finished second in kills (372), kills per set (3.38) and hitting percentage (.317) en route to receiving first team All-CAA honors. She is the lone member of the preseason squad who earned first team status last season.
Joining Alker, Stewart, and Verdun on the All-CAA team are James Madison’s Danielle Erb, George Mason’s Noelle Fanella, and Northeastern’s Janelle Tucker.
The Blue Hens will open their 2011 campaign this Friday at the Rice Tournament. The team will square off against the host school on Friday, Aug. 26, before battling AVCA preseason #6 ranked Stanford on Saturday. The team returns to Newark for its home opener on Aug. 30 against Oregon at 7 p.m. Oregon received votes in the pre-season AVCA Top 25 poll.
2011 Pre-season All-CAA Volleyball Team:
Alissa Alker, OH, Delaware; Danielle Erb, OH, James Madison; Noelle Fanella, OH, George Mason; Kim Stewart, OH, Delaware; Janelle Tucker, OH, Northeastern; Vineece Verdun, MB, Georgia State.
Honorable Mention: Natalie Abel, OH, James Madison; Celine Alasomuka, O/D, William & Mary; Ciara Brown, S, VCU; Katy Buck, OH, Towson; Katie Daorai, DS, James Madison; Muki Kangwa, OH/RS, Georgia State; Nikki Kinnier, OH/RS, Hofstra; Lana Zonjic, OH, George Mason.
Preseason CAA Volleyball Player of the Year: Vinceece Verdun, Georgia State
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