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Morgan Thatcher is the first Wildcat to be named Player of the Year since 2003.
Courtesy: America East Communications

Albany, UNH, UMBC Take Home #AEVB Major Awards

Release: 11/21/2013
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DURHAM, N.H. — After helping New Hampshire capture its first America East regular-season title in a decade, senior Morgan Thatcher was named the conference’s Player of the Year as announced at the championship banquet held at the University of New Hampshire on Thursday night. The UNH coaching staff also earned a major award as Coaching Staff of the Year, while UMBC junior Mallory McIntyre was named Setter of the Year. Albany had a pair of award winners as freshman Amanda Dolan took Rookie of the Year honors and senior Viktoriia Stroilo was named Defensive Specialist of the Year. The all-conference teams and major award winners are voted on by the league’s eight head coaches who are not permitted to vote for their own players.

Thatcher is the first Wildcat since 2003 and just the third in program history to be named Player of the Year. Also a first-team all-conference honoree, she ranks second in the conference in kills per set (3.30) and seventh in hitting percentage (.288). The senior also made her impact defensively with 33 blocks to rank 12th in the America East. She captained the Wildcats to their first regular-season title since 2003.

McIntyre is the Setter of the Year for the second-straight season after becoming the first Retriever to win the award last season. The senior leads the America East with 11.05 assists per set and quarterbacked the Retriever offense to a .203 hitting percentage, the second-best mark in the conference. Her 58 assists in a win over Albany are the most for any America East player this season.

Dolan is the third Great Dane to be named Rookie of the Year and the first since 2007 after leading all freshmen and ranking second in the conference with 56 blocks during league play. The lone freshman to earn all-conference accolades, she also ranks third in the conference in hitting percentage at .317 and averages 2.31 kills per set.

Stroilo earned her second-straight Defensive Specialst of the Year award and continued a string of six-straight Great Danes to earn the honor. She ranks first in the America East with 5.41 digs per set and her 276 total digs during conference play rank second in league history. She helped Albany rank  first in the conference and in in the top-20 in the country in digs per set with 16.82, and rank first in the conference in opponent hitting percentage at .146.

The New Hampshire coaching staff, led by head coach Jill Hirschinger, was named Coaching Staff of the Year after guiding the Wildcats to their first America East regular-season title since 2003. New Hampshire matched its third-best conference record at 12-2 to earn the No. 1 seed and the right to host the 2013 America East tournament.

Thatcher and McIntyre both earned their second-straight selections to the All-Conference First Team along with Binghamton senior Grace Vickers, who ranked second in the conference in hitting percentage (.331) and fourth in kills (3.23). Albany junior Samantha Brostrom, UMBC senior Emily Witsaman and Stony Brook senior Kaitlin Costello earned their first all-conference honors. New Hampshire sophomore Tori Forrest, an All-Rookie team honoree in 2012, was selected to the team after leading the conference in kills (3.74).

Dolan and Stroilo each earned spots on the All-Conference Second Team, the second such honor for Stroilo. A pair of setters in Hartford junior Jackie Tamburri and New Hampshire junior Taylor Dunklau also were elected to the team. UMBC junior Hannah Schmidt, New Hampshire senior Deistny Tolliver and Stony Brook sophomore Stephanie McFadden grabbed their first all-conference honors.

Dolan headed a group of seven freshmen on the All-Rookie Team and was joined by teammate Mikala McCauley. Binghamton’s Allison Hovie earned a spot after ranking second among freshmen in kills with 2.92 per set. Hartford outside hitter Corinne Horanzy is the first Hawk selected to the All-rookie team since 2011. Providence had a pair of players earn spots in Kayla Fitzgerald and Michelle Cruz, both of whom were named Rookie of the Week on two occasions. New Hampshire middle blocker Demi Muses rounded out the team.

Five all-conference selections also were named to the All-Academic Team including Albany’s Stroilo, Binghamton’s Vickers, UMBC’s McIntyre and Schmidt and New Hampshire’s Forrest. To be eligible for the All-Academic team student-athletes must be a sophomore with a GPA above a 3.30 and play in the majority of your team’s sets. The team is voted on by a group of Sports Information Directors, Faculty Athletic Representative and Academic Advisors. Forrest was one of three Wildcats selected to the team that also included Cassidy Croci (4.00 GPA in International Affaris & Business) and Sam Henke (3.80 in Kinesiology). Stony Brook sophomore Melissa Rigo (3.38 in Business) and Hartford junior Sareet Nethersole (3.59 in Marketing) also earned selections.

The 2013 America East Championship will be held at University of New Hampshire’s Lundholm Gymnasium beginning on Friday, November 22 with the semifinals. The championship match will be on Saturday, November 23 at 4 p.m. All games will be streamed live for free on AmericaEast.TV.

First Team          
Pos. Name Cl. School Hometown/High School/Previous School  
OH Samantha Brostrom Jr. Albany Ellicott City, Md./Centennial  
MH Grace Vickers Sr. Binghamton Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley  
S Mallory McIntyre Sr. UMBC Winnipeg, Manitoba/St. Mary’s Academy  
MB Emily Witsaman Sr. UMBC Medina, Ohio/Medina  
OH Tori Forrest So. New Hampshire Powder Springs, Ga./North Cobb  
RS Morgan Thatcher Sr. New Hampshire Brockton, Mass./Brockton  
OH/RS Kaitlin Costello Sr. Stony Brook Webster, N.Y./Our Lady of Mercy  
Second Team          
Pos. Name Cl. School Hometown/High School/Previous School  
MB Amanda Dolan Fr. Albany Manhattan, Ill./Lincoln-Way Central  
L Viktoriia Stroilo Jr. Albany Luhansk, Ukraine/Ritenour  
S Jackie Tamburri Jr. Hartford Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y./Hendrick Hudson  
OH Hannah Schmidt Jr. UMBC Catonsville, Md./Mount de Sales  
S Taylor Dunklau Jr. New Hampshire Mukwonago, Wis./Mukwonago  
RS Destiny Tolliver Sr. New Hampshire Rochester, Mich./Notre Dame Prep  
MB Stephanie McFadden So. Stony Brook San Juan Capistrano, Calif./San Clemente  
Pos. Name School Hometown/High School/Previous School    
MB Amanda Dolan Albany Manhattan, Ill./Lincoln-Way Central    
S Mikala McCauley Albany Stanfordville, N.Y./Stissing Mountain    
OH Allison Hovie Binghamton Neenah, Wis./Neenah    
OH Corinne Horanzy Hartford Southington, Conn./Southington    
MB Demi Muses New Hampshire Orangevale, Calif./Casa Roble    
DS Michelle Cruz Providence Midland Park, N.J./Immaculate Heart Academy    
OH/RS Kayla Fitzgerald Providence Redlands. Calif./Redlands East Valley    
2013 America East Volleyball All-Academic Team
Name Cl. School Hometown/High School GPA Major
Viktoriia Stroilo Jr. Albany Luhansk, Ukraine/Ritenour 3.77 Biology
Grace Vickers Sr. Binghamton Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley 3.47 Geography
Sareeta Nethersole Jr. Hartford Cortlandt Manor, N.Y./Hendrick Hudson 3.59 Marketing
Mallory McIntyre Sr. UMBC Winnipeg, Manitoba/St. Mary’s Academy 3.42 Media and Communication Studies
Hannah Schmidt Jr. UMBC Catonsville, Md./Mount de Sales 3.36 Biological Sciences
Cassidy Croci So. New Hampshire Sylvania, Ohio/St. Ursula Academy 4.00 International Affairs & Business
Tori Forrest So. New Hampshire Powder Springs, Ga./North Cobb 3.45 Business
Sam Henke Jr. New Hampshire Millersville, Md./Severna Park 3.80 Kinesiology
Melissa Rigo So. Stony Brook East Northport, N.Y./Elwood-John Glenn 3.38 Business
Player of the Year: Morgan Thatcher, New Hampshire
Setter of the Year: Mallory McIntyre, UMBC
Defensive Specialist of the Year: Viktoriia Stroilo, Albany
Rookie of the Year: Amanda Dolan, Albany
Coaching Staff of the Year: New Hampshire 
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