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Volleyball lands three on America East All-Conference Teams
Roland and Ortiz named to second-team, Hovie all-rookie
November 17, 2011Tweet
Contact: Terrence Lollie (email@example.com)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Binghamton volleyball program landed three players on the 2011 America East All-Conference teams. Junior Alex Roland (Austin, Tex./Austin High) and sophomore Xiomara Ortiz (South Setauket, N.Y./Ward Melville) earned second-team honors while freshman Kristin Hovie (Neenah, Wis./Neenah) was named to the all-rookie team, as announced by the conference this afternoon.
Since joining the America East in 2002 the Bearcats have now placed 30 players on all-conference teams. Roland and Ortiz are making their second appearance on the all-conference list, each earning all-rookie selections their freshman seasons (2009 & 2010). Hovie is the eighth Binghamton player to be named to the all-rookie team and the third in as many years.
Typically recognized for her defense during her first two seasons, Roland emerged as an offensive force for the Bearcats in 2011. The middle blocker recorded a total of 272 kills on the season, almost 120 more than last year. She upped her .260 hitting percentage to .307 during conference matches, good enough for fifth in the America East. After recording 97 total blocks in 2011, she now ranks seventh on BU’s all-time blocks list. In a pivotal conference game, she had her best match of her career, tallying 23 kills against Hartford on Nov. 11.
“Alex (Roland) was our most consistent offensive threat throughout the conference season as well as our top blocker,” head coach Glenn Kiriyama said. “She has worked hard to make herself a better hitter and actually led us in kills (conference play) which is unusual for a middle hitter. Her offense wouldn’t have been possible if not for the passing and defense of Xiomara (Ortiz).”
Ortiz, who has commanded BU’s backline for the past two seasons, finished the season third in the conference with 4.48 digs per set. Her averaged jumped to 4.68 digs per set during conference play, second to only two-time Defensive Specialist of the Year, Albany’s Laurie Gonzalez. She is just the second Bearcat to record back-to-back 400-plus dig seasons (Jaclyn Strader ’06, ‘07) and her 484 totals digs is the second highest mark in BU’s Division I history (Strader, 536).
“Xiomara (Ortiz) has evolved immensely since her freshman campaign,” Kiriyama continued. “She has grown in confidence and leadership and has developed into the mainstay of our backrow.”
In a season where four Bearcats accumulated 200-plus kills, Hovie led them all with 281. She is the first freshman to lead the team in kill since Michelle McDonough in 2007 (274). The 281 kills is the second-most by a freshman in the program’s Division I history, only behind Michele Heck’s 315 in 2001. Her 2.74 kills per set ranked ninth in the America East and was upped to 2.94 in conference matches. She set a BU freshman record for kills in a match with 24 against UMBC on Oct. 30.
“Kristin has been a great asset to our team,” Kiriyama noted. “She is a gifted athlete who came through with some timely kills and blocks for us. She has a bright future ahead as she continues to develop into a top offensive threat for us.”
Binghamton finished the season with a 13-17 record and a 5-7 conference mark, missing the postseason tournament for the first time since 2003. Head coach Glenn Kiriyama recorded his 200th career win in 2011 with a win over Siena on Sept. 7; he now has 210 victories at BU. The Bearcats return five starters plus the libero and 12 letterwinners to the 2012 squad.
NOTES: Conference Award Winners – Player of the Year: Alicia Nelson, Stony Brook, Setter of the Year: Brooke Stanley, Albany, Defensive Specialist of the Year: Laurie Gonzalez, Albany, Rookie of the Year: Dalton Tolliver, UMBC, Coach of the Year: MJ Engstrom, Albany.