Immediate Release: November 20, 2008
This is the second time that Kiriyama has been tabbed America East Coach of the Year and is in his tenth season at Binghamton. The Bearcats were picked to finish fourth in the conference, but Kiriyama led the team to a 9-3 AE record and a number two seed in this weekend's conference tournament. This is the fifth consecutive season that Kiriyama has led the Bearcats to a postseason appearance. Kiriyama was last honored as the top coach in 2005.
"[The coach of the year award] is one of those awards that are pretty much up to the team and how they perform," Kiriyama said. "It's also about the rest of the staff and even the trainer. It was a really good effort by everybody this year. Again, it's a team-type of award, but I am very honored."
The sophomore trio of Lejina, McDonough and Mueller has proven to be an integral part of the Bearcat's success this season and were rewarded by being named to the conferences first team.
"I thought that was very deserving for them," Kiriyama said. "Those three have been the most consistent players for our team all year and have really turned it on during conference. I'm really happy and proud for them and have to admit that they really worked hard for it."
Lejina, an outside hitter, is in her first year at Binghamton after transferring from the University of Latvia. She leads the America East in kills per set in conference games and posted 29 kills against Maine on Nov. 14, the highest single match total in the conference this season. Lejina amassed double-digit kills in 18 matches.
McDonough, who was named to the all-rookie team last season, ranks second in the AE in conference matches in kills per set and third in overall matches. McDonough showed her versatility against New Hampshire on Nov. 15 by posting a triple-double of 12 kills, 11 digs and 10 blocks. The outside hitter totaled double-digit kills in 19 games and surpassed 20 kills three times. She also had six double-doubles (kills-digs) on the season.
Mueller, the team's setter, was also named to the all-rookie team in 2007. The setter is ranked first in assists per set in the AE in conference matches this season. She also surpassed the 40-assists plateau 12 times this season and recorded nine double-doubles (assists-digs). She also ranks second on the team in digs.
The second-seeded Bearcats will take on third-seeded UMBC on Friday at 4 p.m.
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