Junior outside hitter Delia Phillips earned AVCA All-East Region and NE-10 All-Conference first team honors last season after averaging 3.10 kills and 2.92 digs per set.
Skyhawks looking to earn fifth consecutive trip to NE-10 Championship
EASTON, Mass. (August 29, 2014) – Stonehill College has been picked to finish sixth in the Northeast-10 Conference volleyball preseason poll, as selected by the league's 15 head coaches, the conference office announced yesterday.
Stonehill received a total of 132 points, just five shy of fifth-place Merrimack College. The two-time defending conference champion University of New Haven Chargers were picked to capture their third consecutive NE-10 crown with 191 points and ten of the 15 first-place votes, while Bentley University checked in second with 174 points and three first-place nods. Adelphi University (168 points) and The College of Saint Rose (161 points) were picked third and fourth, respectively, and each school received a single first-place tally.
Stonehill returns ten letter winners and four starters from last year's squad, including 2013 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-East Region and NE-10 All-Conference first team selection Delia Phillips (St. James, New York/Smithtown East). Phillips became the third Skyhawk in the program's history to earn AVCA All-East Region honors after leading the team with 3.10 kills per set (3rd in NE-10) to go with 2.92 digs per set and 35 service aces last fall. The junior outside hitter was the only player in the NE-10 to post over 300 kills and 300 digs during the regular season, and she also led Stonehill with 15 double-doubles.
Also back from last season's NE-10 semifinalist is senior setter Emily Iverson (Elmhurst, Illinois/York). Iverson earned AVCA All-East Region honors and became the first Stonehill setter to record over 1000 assists in a single season as a freshman in 2011, and she eclipsed the 1000-assist mark again as a sophomore. Last season, Iverson earned NE-10 All-Conference third team honors after leading the team with 10.11 assists/set, and also contributing 1.93 digs/set.
Stonehill will be experienced up front, as senior middle blockers Mary-Kate Catton (San Diego, California/Academy of Our Lady of Peace) and Meaghan Lee (Hanover, Massachusetts/Notre Dame Academy) return after starting a combined 61 out of 64 possible matches last fall. Catton led the team and ranked ninth in the conference with 0.81 blocks/set, while Lee added 0.80 blocks/set, including five or more on eight occasions. Catton and Lee also chipped in offensively with 2.16 and 1.64 kills/set, respectively.
Sophomore setter Taylor Stevens (Foster, Rhode Island/Ponaganset) played an important role for the Skyhawks last season, ranking second on the team in assists (5.04/set) and fifth in digs (1.92) as a freshman. She was recognized for her efforts at the end of the season with a selection to the NE-10 All-Rookie Team.
Stonehill finished the 2013 season at 18-14, advancing to the Northeast-10 Conference (NE-10) Championship semifinals for the third time in four years. The Skyhawks went 9-5 in conference play, earning a berth in the NE-10 Championship for the fourth time in head coach Lauren Amundson's five-year tenure.
Stonehill is set to open its 2014 campaign next Friday, September 5th with a pair of matches at the Millersville Marauder Clash, hosted by Millersville University in Millersville, Pennsylvania. The Skyhawks will take on Chestnut Hill College at 5 p.m. before facing Holy Family University at 7 p.m. Stonehill kicks off NE-10 play on Tuesday, September 16th at American International College, before opening its home slate on Friday, September 26th against Post University.