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Three Bearcats garner America East all-conference honors

McDonough and Lejina named to first team, Ortiz all-rookie

November 18, 2010

Three Bearcats garner America East all-conference honors

VESTAL, N.Y.—The Binghamton volleyball program placed three players on the 2010 America East All-Conference teams. Seniors Michelle McDonough (Orlando Hills, Ill./Andrew) and Anna Lejina (Riga, Latvia/Riga Secondary/University of Latvia) earned first team recognition while freshman Xiomara Ortiz (South Setauket, N.Y./Ward Melville) was named to the all-rookie team, as announced by the conference Thursday.

McDonough, who was named to the first team for the third straight season, lead the conference in overall kills per set with 3.91. She also set the school record for career kills (1,460) during her final home match when she put down 17 against Hartford. McDonough is the second BU player to be named to the America East first team three straight years (Jacki Kane ‘06).

Lejina has earned her third straight all conference honor, being named to the second team in 2009 and first team in 2008. She finished right behind teammate McDonough in overall conference kills per set (3.79). Lejina was name America East Player of the Week twice (Oct. 18, Nov. 15). She finished her career ranked third on BU’s all-time kills list with 1,152.

“Michelle and Anna have been the work-horses of this team,” head coach Glenn Kiriyama said. “Our offense runs through them and they have continued to step up their game as the need arises. They work as hard as anyone on the team and are very deserving of their selection.”

Ortiz stepped in as a freshman on BU’s backline and finished second in the conference in digs per set both overall (4.14) and in conference play (4.33). The Defensive Specialist of the Year, Laurie Gonzalez of Albany was the only player to average more digs per set. Ortiz earned a Rookie of the Week nomination on Oct. 25 after setting her career high of 30 digs against the Great Danes. She recorded double-digit digs in 24 of BU’s 27 games.

“Xiomara has stepped into the libero spot and has produced some great results for us,” Kiriyama said. “She has handled the position and the pressure that comes along with it well.”

Binghamton has had at least one player selected to the America East first team eight of the past nine seasons.

The Bearcats have earned the No. 2 seed for the upcoming America East Tournament and will play No. 3 UMBC in Albany at 4 p.m. on Friday in the semifinals. This is the sevent-straight season the Bearcats have advanced to the conference tournament.

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