James Madison junior middle blocker Lizzy Briones (Siloam Springs, Ark./Siloam Springs) was voted to the All-Colonial Athletic Association First Team as announced at the annual award banquet held prior to the start of the CAA Volleyball Championship in Charleston, S.C., Thursday evening.
Briones’ honor highlights four players collecting five recognitions for JMU at the pre-tournament banquet. Joining Briones in All-CAA honors was freshman right side Janey Goodman (Powhatan, Va./Powhatan) claiming All-CAA Second Team and All-Rookie recognitions. Freshman outside hitter Kate Whitmire (Alexandria, Va./T.C. Williams) joined Goodman on the All-Rookie team while junior defensive specialist Martha Stewart (Naperville, ill./Waubonsie Valley) was named to the All-Academic Team.
Briones joins outside hitters Natalie Abel (2008-12) and Lindsay Callahan (2007-10) as Dukes to claim All-CAA First Team honors under head coach Lauren Steinbrecher. She finished the regular season with 303 kills, 151 blocks, 88 digs, 16 service aces and 10 assists. Briones led the team with 405 points averaging 3.75 points per set in 108 sets played. She ranks second in the CAA and 18th in the country with 151 blocks, ranking her second on the school’s single season block list behind only Kate Fuchs (2001-04) who had 162 in 2002. The junior hit .292 on the season and is the first Duke to collect 300-plus kills and 100-plus blocks since Allyson Halls (2004-07) in 2007.
Goodman led the team and all CAA freshmen with 323 kills, averaging 2.99 per set. She accumulated 365.5 points, adding 79 blocks, 57 digs, a service ace and three assists. The left-hander hit .219 on the season while playing in all 108 sets. Her 323 kills are the most by a Madison freshman since Callahan had 368 in 2007. She also set a JMU freshman record for kills in a match with 28, leaving her trailing only Halls’ school-record 31 kills in a match.
Whitmire joined the rotation near the start of CAA play, appearing in 19 matches and 59 sets. She connected on 120 kills for a .118 attack percentage. The Alexandria, Va., native added 28 blocks, 41 digs and two assists.
Stewart played back-line defense for Madison, appearing in 22 matches and 88 sets. She picked up 183 digs, averaging 2.08 per set to go with 12 kills, 11 service aces and 15 assists. The junior has made President’s List all four semesters at JMU and is a JMU Athletic Director Scholar-Athlete and a CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award Recipient.
The College of Charleston collected three of the conference’s five major awards as outside hitter Darcy Dorton was named the 2013 CAA Player of the Year. Setter Kallie McKown claimed Setter of the Year and their head coach, Jason Kepner, was named Coach of the Year after leading the Cougars to the regular season championship in their first year in the CAA. Northeastern’s Natalia Skiba claimed Defensive Specialist of the Year for the second time and setter/outside hitter Jamie Bredahl was named the Rookie of the Year.
Joining Briones and Dorton on the All-CAA First team was CofC outside hitter Sloane White, Northeastern outside hitter Kelly Bacon, Hofstra outside hitter Kelsie Wills and UNCW right side hitter Christi Laite.
The CAA Championship gets under way on Friday, Nov. 22 with fourth-seeded JMU taking on fifth-seeded Hofstra at 4 p.m. The Dukes are 2-0 this season against the Pride, sweeping both matches, including a 3-0 win in Hempstead last Sunday. The CAA Championship game is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24 at T.D. Arena in Charleston.
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