UMass Boston sophomores Julia Murphy (Canton, Mass.) and Elizabeth Glavan (Edina, Minn.) were both selected for Major Awards for the second consecutive year as the Little East Conference announced its 2014 Volleyball Major Awards and All-Conference teams on Tuesday. Southern Maine freshman Jessica Williamson (Goffstown, N.H.) garnered Rookie of the Year honors, while Eastern Connecticut first-year head coach Megan Silver Droesch was honored as Coach of the Year.
In all, 12 Little East volleyball student-athletes representing five institutions were voted as First or Second Team All-Conference recipients by the league's head coaches.
UMass Boston middle hitter Julia Murphy was named Offensive Player of the Year for the second time in her young career as a sophomore. She closed the season atop the conference in hitting percentage at .298 with 318 kills on the season. On the year, the Canton, Mass. native reached double-digit kills 15 times, including a 20-kill performance against Tufts on Sept. 30. She surpassed a .300 hitting percentage in 13 matches and reached above .500 on three separate occasions, with her highest single-match percentage coming on Sept. 13 against Middlebury College, in which she registered 13 kills on 19 attempts for a .684 percentage. Murphy, the third player in Beacon history to earn the Offensive Player of the Year accolade, earned Offensive Player of the Week honors four times on the year.
Elizabeth Glavan continued the defensive dominance that has marked her short yet decorated career thus far as a Beacon, earning Defensive Player of the Year honors for the second-straight year. The defensive specialist closed 2014 with 653 digs for a 5.63 digs per set average to sit second in the conference and recorded double-digit digs in all but one match. Glavan posted 30-plus kills in seven matches, totaling 36 digs for her highest mark on the season on Oct. 25 against eventual league champion Western Connecticut. The Edina, Minn. native also posted a solid .934 reception percentage and recorded at least one service ace in 22 matches. After earning three Defensive Player of the Week nods this season, she will look to repeat as an AVCA All-Region honoree.
Jessica Williamson of Southern Maine lit up the court for the Huskies this season in her campaign to earn Rookie of the Year. The outside hitter paced the league with 484 kills (4.57 kills per set) and owns a .256 hitting percentage thus far, good for fourth in the Little East. With double-digit kills in all but one match, Williamson posted a single-match high with 25 kills against Farleigh Dickinson on Oct. 18. She was a force on all parts of the court, sitting second on her team with 3.27 digs per set, 20 blocks and 42 service aces. With Williamson and first year head coach Diane Newell, Southern Maine posted an 18-13 record and saw their best start to a season in program history with eight straight wins to open 2014.
The Coach of the Year award was earned by Eastern Connecticut's Megan Silver Droesch, who led the Warriors to a 17-17 overall record, a 5-2 conference slate and the No. 3 seed in the Little East Tournament, the highest seed for ECSU since 2008. The only two losses for ECSU during the regular season came at the hands of the two teams seeded higher, UMass Boston and Keene State, and the Warriors were able to avenge their loss to Keene State and advance to the Tournament Championship for the first time since 2007. Under Silver Droesch, the Warriors led the conference in assists (11.38 per set), kills (12.21 per set) and blocks (2.29 per set) during league matches. She is the first ECSU head coach to receive the honor since Jolie Ward in 2005.
|2014 Little East Major Awards and All-Conference Teams|
|Adrianna Mihalek||Sophomore||Outside Hitter||Eastern Connecticut||Woodbury, Conn.|
|Angela Silveri||Senior||Outside Hitter||Keene State||Poughquag, N.Y.|
|Patsy Boland||Sophomore||Outside Hitter||UMass Boston||Chicago, Ill.|
|Elizabeth Glavan||Sophomore||Defensive Specialist||UMass Boston||Edina, Minn.|
|Julia Murphy||Sophomore||Middle Hitter||UMass Boston||Canton, Mass.|
|Karissa Smith||Sophomore||Outside Hitter||Western Connecticut||Bristol, Conn.|
|Madeleine Nossif||Junior||Middle Blocker||Keene State||Portsmouth, N.H.|
|Pepper Baker||Sophomore||Setter||UMass Boston||Tallahassee, Fla.|
|Kirsten Morrison||Senior||Middle Hitter||UMass Boston||North Reading, Mass.|
|Jessica Williamson||Freshman||Outside Hitter||Southern Maine||Goffstown, N.H.|
|Danielle Kaminsky||Sophomore||Setter||Western Connecticut||Southington, Conn.|
|Brittany Steele||Sophomore||Middle Hitter||Western Connecticut||Massapequa, N.Y.|
|Offensive Player of the Year|
|Julia Murphy, UMass Boston|
|Defensive Player of the Year|
|Elizabeth Glavan, UMass Boston|
|Rookie of the Year|
|Jessica Williamson, Southern Maine|
|Coach of the Year|
|Megan Silver Droesch, Eastern Connecticut|