Delaware Volleyball Well-Represented on All-CAA Team; Alker, Lawrence, Shonk, Olsen All Honored
Photos Courtesy of Delaware Volleyball
November 15, 2012
Photo on Home Page from Left: Chelsea Lawrence, Mackenzie Olsen, Ariel Shonk, Alissa Alker
• CAA Tournament Central
TOWSON, Md. -- The University of Delaware volleyball team, which is gunning for its third straight Colonial Athletic Association Tournament title this weekend, was well represented on the All-CAA all-star teams that were announced at the annual league banquet Thursday night at Towson University.
A total of four Delaware players were honored Thursday on teams that were selected by the league’s head coaches. Senior hitter senior Alissa Alker earned first team honors, senior hitter Chelsea Lawrence was named to the second team, and freshman libero Ariel Shonk earned a spot on the third team, was named the CAA Defensive Specialist of the Year, and joined UD freshman setter Mackenzie Olsen on the CAA All-Rookie team.
Northeastern junior outside hitter Kelly Bacon was named the 2012 CAA Volleyball Player of the Year while Aubrey Kirven of Towson was selected Setter of the Year, William & Mary freshman Dessi Koleva was named Rookie of the Year, and Towson mentor Bruce Atkinson was selected as Coach of the Year for the second straight year.
Top-seed Towson will host the six-team, three-day event this weekend at the Towson Center. Action gets underway with quarterfinal matches on Friday.
Delaware (15-13), the No. 2 seed for head coach Bonnie Kenny, received a first round bye and will take on the winner of Friday’s Northeastern-James Madison match Saturday at 4 p.m.
The championship match is set for Sunday at 5 p.m with that winner earning the automatic NCAA Tournament berth.
Alker, a senior from San Diego, Calif. (Scripps Ranch High School), was recognized by the league coaches for the fourth straight year as she was a first team pick in 2011, a third team selection in 2010, and an All-Rookie team member in 2009.
She once again ranks among the CAA leaders as she has recorded team-highs of 359.5 points, 301 kills, and 32 services aces while hitting .198 and adding 327 digs.
Lawrence, a senior from Evanston, Ill. (Evanston Township HS) was named to the second team for the second straight year after another solid campaign. She leads all Delaware regulars in hitting percentage with a .251 mark and also paces the squad with 93 blocks (0.95 per match) while ranking fourth on the club with 217 kills.
Shonk becomes the third Delaware player in the last five seasons to earn CAA Defensive Specialist of the Year laurels, joining Greta Gibboney in 2010 and All-American Stephanie Barry in 2008.
Shonk made an immediate impact on the Delaware back line in her first collegiate season. The Atlanta, Ga. native (Riverwood International Charter HS) leads the CAA with 571 digs this season (5.71 per set) and has helped hold opponents to a .188 hitting percentage.
Olsen, a freshman setter from Villa Park, Calif. (Villa Park HS), was among the top setters in the CAA in her first season as she currently ranks second in the league with 1,009 assists (10.9 per set). She also ranks third on the squad with 228 digs and has contributed 51 kills and a .270 hitting percentage.
Towson and Northeastern each had two first team players recognized led by Towson’s Katy Buck and Kirven and Northeastern’s Bacon and Nicole Bishop. Hofstra’s Kelsie Wills was the fifth member of the first team with Alker.
2012 ALL-CAA VOLLEYBALL TEAMS (Selected by CAA Volleyball Coaches)
FIRST TEAM: Alissa Alker, Delaware; Kelly Bacon, Northeastern; Nicole Bishop, Northeastern; Katy Buck, Towson; Aubrey Kirven, Towson; Kelsie Wills, Hofstra
SECOND TEAM: Catalina Charry, Hofstra; Danielle Erb, James Madison; I’ishah Keliikoa, Towson; Dessi Koleva, William & Mary; Christi Laite, UNCW; Chelsea Lawrence, Delaware; Lana Zonjic, George Mason
THIRD TEAM: Natalie Abel, James Madison; Jillian Briner, Northeastern; Marta Machos, Towson; Shaylin O’Connell, William & Mary; Ariel Shonk, Delaware; Natalia Skiba, Northeastern
ALL-ROOKIE TEAM: Dessi Koleva, William & Mary; Meghan Niski, James Madison; Mackenzie Olsen, Delaware; Lola Owokoniran, George Mason; Ariel Shonk, Delaware; Eliza Zachary, Georgia State
2012 CAA Player of the Year: Kelly Bacon, Northeastern
2012 CAA Setter of the Year: Aubrey Kirven, Towson
2012 CAA Defensive Specialist of the Year: Ariel Shonk, Delaware
2012 CAA Rookie of the Year: Dessi Koleva, William & Mary
2012 CAA Coach of the Year: Bruce Atkinson, Towson
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