Williams' Jasuta Named Player of the Year For Second Straight Year
HADLEY, Mass. – Sophomore outside hitter Tori Jasuta (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) of Williams has been chosen as the NESCAC Player of the Year by the league’s coaches for the second consecutive season. Jasuta leads the conference with 3.85 kills per set, while ranking fourth with 56 service aces and sixth with 353 digs. In the NESCAC Championship, she averaged 4.23 kills and 4.54 digs per set over three matches to help the Ephs win their second straight conference title. Jasuta is the third Williams player to earn Player of the Year, joining Joyia Chadwick (2002) and Robin Young (2003, 2004). She is also the third conference player to receive multiple Player of Year nods along with Young and Wesleyan’s Lisa Drennan (2006, 2008).
Jasuta is joined on the All-NESCAC First Team by teammate Ryan Farley (La Jolla, Calif.). The junior setter, who was a first-team selection last season, averages a conference-best 9.93 assists per set for the potent Eph offensive attack and ranks fifth in the league with 54 service aces.
NCAA Tournament qualifiers Tufts and Bowdoin landed two players on the first team as well. Jumbo senior middle hitter Isabel Kuhel (Brisbane, Calif.) was one of the league’s most dominant players at the net, averaging a league-high 1.32 blocks per set and hitting at a conference-best .329 clip. The three-time all-conference selection was named to the Second Team in 2011 and the First Team in 2013 to go along with 2011 NESCAC Rookie of the Year recognition. Senior outside hitter Hayley Hopper (Carlsbad, Calif.) of Tufts was elevated from the Second Team last season after ranking third in the NESCAC in kills (315) and fourth in the league in kills per set (3.50).
Bowdoin junior outside hitter Christy Jewett (Sunnyvale, Calif.) tallied a conference-best 399 kills, while ranking second in service aces (61) and ninth in digs (300) to earn her second all-conference nod after being named to the 2013 Second Team. Jewett was joined by sophomore libero Katie Doherty (Menlo Park, Calif.) on the First Team. Doherty paced the NESCAC with 552 digs and ranks second in digs per set (5.06) and eighth in service aces (45).
Amherst sophomore Maggie Danner (Newport Beach, Calif.) earned her second consecutive spot on the First Team. The outside hitter ranks fifth in the league and first among her teammates with 3.23 kills per set. Danner finished third on the squad with 30 total blocks.
Connecticut College junior outside hitter Caroline Martin (Palo Alto, Calif.) garnered All-NESCAC Second Team recognition for the third consecutive season to go along with being named the 2012 NESCAC Rookie of the Year, while Trinity junior middle hitter Kate Giddens (Ranchos Palos Verdes, Calif.) was picked for the second straight year. Rounding out the team was Middlebury sophomore setter Hannah Blackburn (Chapel Hill, N.C.), Hamilton senior libero Anna Brown (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Tufts junior outside hitter Maddie Kuppe (Palo Alto, Calif.), Bowdoin sophomore setter Quincy Leech (Durham, N.C.) and Amherst junior libero Katie Warshaw (Manhattan Beach, Calif.).
Bowdoin’s Katie Doherty and Hamilton’s Anna Brown were selected as NESCAC Co-Defensive Players of the Year. This marks the first time the award has been shared between players. Brown, who ranks third in the league in digs (499) and digs per set (4.89), graduates four digs shy of becoming Hamilton’s career leader in digs with 1,683. Doherty is the second Bowdoin player to receive the award, joining Taylor Vail who earned the award last year, while Brown is the first Hamilton recipient in program history.
The NESCAC Rookie of the Year award will also be shared, as Amherst middle hitter Marialexa Natsis (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Middlebury outside hitter Becca Raffel (Palo Alto, Calif.) were chosen by the league’s coaches. Natsis paced the Jeffs with 50 total blocks on the season, while finishing third on the team in kills (158) and sixth in the league in hitting percentage (.286). Despite missing the first month of the season, Raffel ranks eighth in the conference averaging 2.78 kills per set. She wrapped up the year second on the Panther squad with 186 kills. Natsis is the second Jeff to receive the award, joining Kristin Quinn (2003), while Raffel is the third Middlebury player to earn the honor along with Jane Handel (2008) and Megan Jarchow (2010).
Cora Thompson of Tufts was named Coach of the Year for the fourth time in her 13-year career, having previously received the award in 2004, 2008 and 2009. Thompson guided the Jumbos to the No. 1 seed in the NESCAC Championship for the first time since 2009 after posting a 9-1 league record. Tufts earned an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament, which starts this weekend.
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