Southwestern's Nicholls; Long Headline 2011 All-SCAC Volleyball Voting
JACKSON, Miss. – Southwestern University, the sixth-ranked team in the nation and the top seed for this weekend's Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Volleyball Tournament, was recognized for its highly successful season in exclusive all-conference voting by the head coaches of the SCAC. Christina Nicholls was named SCAC Player-of-the-Year while head coach Hannah Long was selected as SCAC Coach-of-the-Year for the third time in four years.
In the same balloting, Maraia Tremarelli of Rhodes College was selected the SCAC Backrow Player-of-the-Year, and Maggie Emodi of Trinity University was named SCAC Freshman-of-the-Year.
Nicholls, a senior setter from Austin, Texas, has been a four-year starter for the Pirates and has led the team in assists all four of her seasons in Georgetown. In 2008, she was 12th in the nation in assists per set, 21st in 2009 and is currently 14th, averaging 10.72. Nicholls has been named First Team All-SCAC the last three seasons, and has been a First Team All-South Region honoree and an Honorable Mention AVCA All-America selection the last two seasons. A two-year captain and a fierce competitor, Nicholls is just the fourth player in SCAC history to accumulate over 5,000 assists for a career as she currently stands at 5,221 heading into this weekend's conference tournament. The award marks the fifth time a Southwestern player has earned the league's highest honor and the third time in the last four years. Audra Gentry earned back-to-
back Player-of-the-Year awards in 2008 and 2009. She is the first setter to win the award since 2004 when Trinity's Ashley Farrimond earned POTY honors.
Four different players received votes for Player-of-the-Year, with Nicholls receiving four first-place votes. Jessica Fleming of Austin College, who finished second in the POTY voting, received the most first-place votes with six. Amy Schornack of Colorado College and Catharine Found of Trinity received one vote each.
Tremarelli, a first-year libero from Hilton Head, S.C., was selected as the league's Backrow Player-of-the-Year after finishing the regular season with 693 digs (second in the SCAC), which already represents the third-most digs in a single season in Rhodes College history. Named the league's Defensive Player-of-the-Week in Week 1, Tremarelli averaged 5.35 digs per game in conference matches with a league-high 348 digs in those matches. She had four 30+ dig efforts on the season including a 46-dig performance in a five set loss to sixth-ranked Southwestern. Since the award was established prior to the 2004 season, no program has produced more Backrow Players-of-the-Year than Rhodes. Tremarelli's honor marks the fourth for the Lynx, but the first since Laura Reilly was selected in 2006.
Tremarelli received four votes from the coaches in earning the Backrow Player-of-the-Year award, nudging past Sarai Tenerelli of Southwestern who received three votes. Hannah Varnell of Colorado College and Adrienne Reynolds of Austin College each received two votes each, and Emily Meyers of the University of Dallas received the remaining first-place vote.
Emodi, a first-year outside hitter from Omaha, Neb., averaged a team-best 3.37 kills per set this season, and led the Tigers with 354 overall kills. She was second on the Trinity team with a .288 hitting percentage, and fourth in both blocks (63) and digs (204). Emodi ranked fourth in the SCAC in kills and seventh in the SCAC in hitting percentage during the regular season. Her 27 blocks against East Texas Baptist (10/29/11) were tied for the third-most in school history for a single match. Emodi is just the second Trinity player to earn Freshman-of-the-Year honors, joining former Tiger Caroline Keener who received the honor in 2005. Emodi was the consensus choice for SCAC Freshman-of-the-Year, earning 11 votes from the coaches for the award.
Suzanne Asbury of Centre College received the remaining first-place vote.
Coach Hannah Long has guided Southwestern to a 28-2 overall record despite having one of the highest strength of schedules in the nation, facing five AVCA Top 25 teams and 10 regionally-ranked opponents this season. The Pirates, who have dominated in conference play, going unbeaten in the ultra-competitive SCAC with a 14-0 record, are riding a 19-game win streak heading into the conference tournament. Long's teams have been a constant at the NCAA Regionals, making appearances every year since 2005 and are looking to do the same this season as the current #6 team in the nation – the highest ranking yet for the Pirates in
her tenure. In her eighth season in Georgetown, Long currently sports an overall mark of 253-54, including an incredible 109-17 in conference matches. She entered the 2011 season with the third-best win percentage among all active Division III coaches with at least five years of coaching experience.
Long received eight votes from her peers in the Coach-of-the-Year voting while Jessica Cortese of the University of the South-Sewanee, Jamie Fisher of Millsaps College, Julie Jenkins of Trinity University and Rick Swan of Colorado College received one vote each.
2011 SCAC Player-of-the-Year
Christina Nicholls Southwestern University S Sr. Austin, Texas
2011 SCAC Freshman-of-the-Year
Maggie Emodi Trinity University OH Fy. Omaha, Neb.
2011 SCAC Backrow Player-of-the-Year
Maraia Tremarelli Rhodes College L Fy. Hilton Head, S.C.
2011 SCAC Coach-of-the-Year
Hannah Long Southwestern University 28-2 overall / 14-0 SCAC (1st place regular season)
2011 All-SCAC Women's Volleyball First Team
(4) 215 Christina Nicholls Southwestern S Sr. Austin, Texas
(6) 206 Jessica Fleming Austin College MB Sr. Allen, Texas
(1) 183 Amy Schornack Colo. College S Sr. Plano, Texas
167 Raven Scott Millsaps S/OH Jr. Boutte, La.
163 Rachel Thibodeau Southwestern OH Jr. Richardson, Texas
149 Melissa Clement Hendrix MH Jr. Rogers, Ark.
145 Shelby Moore Birmingham MB Jr. Baton Rouge, La.
2011 All-SCAC Women's Volleyball Second Team
130 Maggie Emodi Trinity OH Fy. Omaha, Neb.
127 Stephanie Woeste Centre MH Sr. Louisville, Ky.
119 Lindsay Thompson Southwestern MH Sr. Austin, Texas
(1) 118 Catharine Found Trinity RS Sr. Iowa City, Iowa
116 Laura Goldsmith Colo. College OH Jr. Pacific Palisades, Calif.
112 Theresa Wohldmann Dallas OH Jr. Florrisan, Mo.
108 Claire Warren Rhodes OH Sr. San Antonio, Texas
2011 All-SCAC Women's Volleyball Third Team
81 Hannah Varnell Colo. College L Sr. Clemmons, N.C.
66 Meredith Erwin Trinity L Jr. Oakton, Va.
65 Emily Caples Dallas MB Fy. Walnut Creek, Calif.
52 Kasey Laird Millsaps MH Jr. New Orleans, La.
52 Adrienne Reynolds Austin L Jr. Arlington, Texas
46 Anne Marie Disalvo Oglethorpe OH Fy. Tallahassee, Fla.
42 Lauren Reibe Birmingham S Jr. Daphne, Ala.
First-place votes are in parentheses. Voting totals based on coaches' votes with 21 points awarded for first-place votes, 20 points for second-place votes, 19 points for third-place votes, etc., down to one point for a 21st-place vote. Freshman-of-the-Year and Backrow Player-of-the-Year voting were done on a vote-by-vote basis, as was Coach-of-the-Year. In all
cases, coaches could not vote for themselves or their own players.