2007 NESCAC Volleyball All-Conference Teams Announced

2007 NESCAC Volleyball All-Conference Teams Announced

DeMais of Amherst Named Player of the Year

HADLEY, Mass. - Amherst senior outside hitter Jaclyn DeMais (Hillsdale, N.J.) has been named the 2007 NESCAC Player of the Year, as determined by the conference coaches. DeMais helped the Jeffs finish first in the NESCAC standings this season with a 9-1 conference record along with an appearance in the final match of the NESCAC Volleyball Championship for the second-straight year. She is the first player from Amherst to earn the league's top honor this decade.

DeMais, who also earned NESCAC All-Conference First Team recognition for the second year in a row, ranks second among all NESCAC players in both hitting percentage and kills, as she has hit at a .291 percent clip while averaging 4.89 kills per game during her final season with the Jeffs. DeMais also contributed 3.92 digs, second among her teammates, while playing in each of Amherst's 107 games this fall. With DeMais' support, the Jeffs have put together a 27-4 record to date and earned a return trip to the NCAA Tournament this weekend.

Returning with DeMais from last year's First Team were junior outside hitters Lisa Drennan (Ann Arbor, Mich.) of Wesleyan and Caitlin Tomaska (Solana Beach, Calif.) of Connecticut College, as all three earned All-NESCAC honors for the third year in a row after being named to the Second Team in 2005. Drennan, the 2006 NESCAC Player of the Year, led the NESCAC in kills per game for the second time in as many years with a 5.51 average, just shy of the Wesleyan record she set last season. Tomaska, the 2005 NESCAC Rookie of the Year, paced her team for the third year in a row in kills at 3.87 per game, third among all league players, while contributing 3.51 digs per game and a team-leading 64 service aces. Tomaska helped the Camels to their best finish in the conference standings along with the semifinals of the NESCAC Volleyball Championship for the second-consecutive year.

Moving up from the Second Team to the All-NESCAC First Team this year were Middlebury senior RH Lexie Fisher (San Francisco, Calif.), Tufts senior MB/OPP Katie Wysham (Spokane, Wash.), and Williams sophomores Alisha Cahlan (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Melissa Pun (San Francisco, Calif.), as all seven members of the 2007 First Team earned NESCAC honors in 2006. Fisher was seventh in the conference in kills and blocks this season, averaging 3.16 kills and 0.90 blocks per game. Wysham was first in the NESCAC in blocks per game at 1.59, accumulating 71 solo through 96 games, as the Jumbos rebound from a 6-6 start with a 10-1 run heading into the NESCAC Volleyball Championship.

Cahlan and Pun combined with their teammates in helping the Ephs capture the 2007 NESCAC Volleyball Championship, the seventh NESCAC title for Williams and first since 2004. Cahlan currently ranks among the league leaders in hitting percentage at .260, while Pun, the 2006 NESCAC Rookie of the Year, is eighth in the conference in kills with 3.07 per game and 10th in digs at 4.35.

Trinity senior libero Katie Lenz (Cheshire, Conn.) came away with Defensive Player of the Year honors. Lenz led the NESCAC and ranks among the national leaders in digs per game, averaging 6.08 through 98 games for the Bantams. Lenz also found a spot on the All-Conference Second Team, earning All-NESCAC recognition for the first time in her career. Williams' Nicole Ballon-Landa (La Jolla, Calif.) was named NESCAC Rookie of the Year, as the first year MB is in the midst of a stellar campaign for the Ephs. Ballon-Landa is currently third in the league in hitting percentage at .277, the highest percentage by any first year player, while placing fifth in the conference in blocks at an even 1.0 per game. She has also contributed 2.76 kills per game and 29 service aces for Williams.

Coach of the Year was bestowed upon Williams head coach Fran Vandermeer for the second year in a row. Vandermeer guided the Ephs to a 9-1 conference mark, the 2007 NESCAC Volleyball title, and a spot in this week's NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004. Vandermeer won the award for the first time last autumn. 

2007 NESCAC Volleyball All-Conference

First Team School Yr. Pos Hometown
Alisha Cahlan Williams So. OPP Las Vegas, Nev.
Jaclyn DeMais Amherst Sr. OH Hillsdale, N.J.
Lisa Drennan Wesleyan     Jr. OH Ann Arbor, Mich.
Lexie Fisher Middlebury Sr. RH San Francisco, Calif.    
Melissa Pun Williams So. OH San Francisco, Calif.
Caitlin Tomaska Connecticut College     Jr. OH Solana Beach, Calif.
Katie Wysham Tufts Sr. MB/OPP    Spokane, Wash.
         
Second Team School Yr. Pos Hometown
Nicole Ballon-Landa Williams Fy. MB La Jolla, Calif.
Stephanie Drumright   Bowdoin Fy. MB San Francisco, Calif.
Ellie Healy Wesleyan So. S Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Sara Heller Amherst Jr. S La Canada, Calif.
Whitney Kouvaris Amherst Sr. OH Jacksonville, Fla.
Katie Lenz Trinity Sr. L Cheshire, Conn.
         
Player of the Year        
Jaclyn DeMais Amherst Sr. OH Hillsdale, N.J.
         
Defensive Player of the Year        
Katie Lenz Trinity Sr. L Cheshire, Conn.
         
Rookie of the Year        
Nicole Ballon-Landa Williams Fy. MB La Jolla, Calif.
         
Coach of the Year        
Fran Vandermeer Williams