GaNun and O’Neill Selected AD3I Rookie and Coach of the Year; Four Receive All-Independent Honors

GaNun and O’Neill Selected AD3I Rookie and Coach of the Year; Four Receive All-Independent Honors

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Freshman Lauren GaNun (Breezy Point, NY/Fontbonne Hall) and head coach Kathleen O'Neill earned two of the Association of Division III Independents (AD3I) top honors, named Rookie and Coach of the Year as the 2012 AD3I Volleyball All-Independent Teams were announced yesterday.

Four Lady Bears in total received recognition with GaNun and senior Kim Matthews (Breezy Point, NY/Bishop Kearney) selected to the first team, junior Sabrina Cornia (Miller Place, NY/Miller Place HS) named to the second team and junior Megan Moran (Syosset, NY/St. Dominic's) receiving honorable mention.

O'Neill earns her first coach of the year award after guiding St. Joseph's to their second straight winning season with an Association-best 14-6 record. O'Neill led the Lady Bears to a 6-0 mark in Hudson Valley Women's Athletic Conference (HVWAC) play and capturing the regular season title for the second time in her five-year tenure.

GaNun receives the first rookie of the year honor in school history leading the Lady Bears in kills (200), hitting percentage (.279), blocks (38.0) and points (248). The freshman middle blocker posted 10 games with double-digit kills including one double-double. GaNun put down a season-high 20 kills in a five-set victory over Culinary Institute that helped her earn AD3I Player of the Week honors on October 17th.

Matthews is named to her second straight All-Independent First Team. The Lady Bears' top all-around player during her three-year career, the senior outside hitter recorded a team-high nine double-doubles, led the team in service aces (41) and was ranked second on the team in kills (172) and hitting percentage (.135) and third in digs (257).

Cornia was named Second-Team All-Independent as a setter for the second consecutive season. The junior achieved almost a 0.5 assist per set improvement over last year finishing the regular season with 492 assists, and accumulated 132 digs and 15 blocks. Cornia had eight games with 30 or more assists and recorded three double-doubles.

Moran was third on the team with a career-high 159 kills assembling a .121 hitting percentage and was ranked second on the team with 18 blocks. The junior middle hitter was named AD3I Player of the Week on October 2nd. This is her second straight recognition, after being named to the first team last season as a sophomore.

The Lady Bears will conclude their 2012 campaign on Sunday, November 11th at the HVWAC Championships, seeking their first HVWAC title in five years. Entering as the top-seed, St. Joseph's has received a quarterfinal round bye and will face the winner of #4 Culinary vs. #5 Pratt in the semifinals starting at 3 pm at the Culinary Institute of America.

# # #

2012 AD3I All-Independent Women's Volleyball Teams

Player of the Year: Mackenzie Hite, Nebraska Wesleyan University, JR, Libero, Grant, Neb. 

Rookie of the Year: Lauren GaNun, St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn), FR, Middle Blocker, Breezy Point, N.Y. 

Coach of the Year:
 Kathleen O'Neill, St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn)

First Team
MB – Lauren GaNun, Freshman, St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn)
MB – Helen Milne, Senior, University of California, Santa Cruz
Libero – Mackenzie Hite, Junior, Nebraska Wesleyan University
OH – Stephanie Hardwick, Junior, Mount Mary College
OH – Kim Matthews, Senior, St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn)
OH – Katelyn Walsh, Sophomore, Nebraska Wesleyan University 
S – Chelsie Beeler, Senior, Mount Mary College

Second Team
MB – Bethany Baxter, Sophomore, Mount Mary College
MB – Karny Kuehl, Sophomore, Nebraska Wesleyan University
Libero – Jaime Weber, Senior, University of California, Santa Cruz
OH – Kim Rabii, Sophomore, University of California, Santa Cruz
OH – Meghan King, Sophomore, College of New Rochelle
OH – (tie) Sarah Wishau, Sophomore, Mount Mary College, and Brierra Ruska, Sophomore, Finlandia University
S – Sabrina Cornia, Junior, St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn)

Honorable Mention
MB – Emma Cole, Freshman, Finlandia University
MB – Kellie Graves, Freshman, University of California, Santa Cruz
MB – Megan Moran, Junior, St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn)
OH – Nina Rogers, Junior, Mills College
OH – Hannah Softley, Senior, Nebraska Wesleyan University
OH – Cydney House, Freshman, College of New Rochelle
OH – Elizabeth Trambley, Senior, University of California, Santa Cruz
S – Kristina Nilaj, Senior, College of New Rochelle