2017 NEWVA Annual Awards Released

NEWVA Major Award Recipients
NEWVA All-New England
NEWVA All-Rookie Team 

BEVERLY, Mass. - November 21, 2017 - The New England Women’s Volleyball Coaches Association (NEWVA) has released their 2017 NEWVA Annual Awards honoring the region’s Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year, the All-New England Teams and All-Rookie Team.

The NEWVA Annual Award recipients are nominated by and voted on by the organization's member head coaches. The coaches represent the seven competing conferences in NCAA Division III including the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC), Little East Conference (LEC), Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC), North Atlantic Conference (NAC), New England Collegiate Conference (NECC), New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), and New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC). 

NEWVA Major Award Recipients

NEWVA Player of the Year

Abby Bertics, Jr., OH from La Jolla, Calif.

NEWVA Player of the Year Abby Bertics from MIT

In her junior season for the Engineers, who were ranked in the NEWVA Top-5 regionally and AVCA Top-25 nationally for the majority of the season, Abby Bertics' career year helped catapult MIT (30-3, 10-0 NEWMAC) to a NEWMAC championship and appearance in the NCAA New England Regional Final.

Bertics averaged over four kills per set and a .326 hitting percentage, both career-highs for the outside hitter. In 33 matches and 110 sets played, Bertics totaled 447 kills which were only two shy of conference leader Marina Ramos from Clark (Mass.). She also had 77 digs and 58 blocks in her memorable 2017 campaign. 

Bertics was named NEWMAC Athlete of the Year, NEWMAC First Team All-Conference, as well as three NEWMAC Offensive Athlete of the Week awards. 

Bertics received seven first-place votes by NEWVA head coaches.   


NEWVA Rookie of the Year

Hannah Dolan, Fr., MB from San Clemente, Calif.
Johnson & Wales (R.I.)

NEWVA Rookie of the Year Hannah Dolan from Johnson & Wales (R.I.)

For the second year in-a-row, the NEWVA Rookie of the Year honors goes to a member of the Johnson & Wales (R.I.) women's volleyball team. Middle blocker Hannah Dolan averaged 2.10 kills and 0.68 blocks per set in her freshman season to help lead the Wildcats to a 33-1 (12-0 GNAC) record, a GNAC Championship, an NCAA New England Regional victory, and an appearance in the NCAA Quarterfinals. 

In 34 matches and 102 sets played, Dolan totaled 214 kills on a .395 hitting percentage and 69 total blocks. She earned GNAC Rookie of the Year and Second Team All-GNAC. 

JWU had a historic 2017 season, going undefeated and earning a national ranking as high No. 8 in the AVCA Division III poll until their loss in the NCAA Elite Eight. 

Dolan received 12 first-place votes by NEWVA head coaches.  


NEWVA Coach of the Year

Nancy Somera, 3rd season
Johnson & Wales (R.I.)

NEWVA Coach of the Year Nancy Somera from Johnson & Wales (R.I.)

In just her fourth season at the helm of the Johnson & Wales (R.I.) women's volleyball program, Nancy Somera led the Wildcats to a 35-1 (12-0 GNAC) record, their third straight GNAC title, the NCAA New England Regional championship, and an appearance in the NCAA Quarterfinals. The Wildcats won their first 35 matches, capped by a thrilling 3-2 victory over MIT in the NCAA Regional Final, before falling to Calvin 3-0 in the NCAA Quarterfinals. 

JWU climbed the AVCA national rankings throughout the season, cracking the poll on October 3 ranked No. 20 in the country and reaching the No. 8 position in the most recent standings on November 11. Somera coached up four AVCA All-Americans this season in middle blocker Kate Walker, outside hitter Maria Coniglio, setter Brylee Frank, and outside hitter Katie Leidhold. Walker was also named AVCA New England Player of the Year.  

JWU captured three of the four GNAC major awards as Somera won Coach of the Year, Elyssa Nicolas earned Libero of the Year, and Hannah Dolan was named Rookie of the Year. Seven players earned a spot on the GNAC All-Conference Teams.  

In the NEWVA Coach of the Year voting, Somera took home 23 first-place first votes. 

NEWVA All-New England

Elizabeth Cameron, Babson
Maria Coniglio, Johnson & Wales (R.I.)
Brylee Frank, Johnson & Wales (R.I.)
Kate Walker, Johnson & Wales (R.I.)
Abby Bertics, MIT
Allie Davanzo, MIT
Yasmine Reece, Wellesley
Nicole Hilton, Wesleyan (Conn.)

Marina Ramos, Clark (Mass.)
Emma Mancini, Endicott
Katie Leidhold, Johnson & Wales (R.I.)
Andie Maloney, MIT
Molly Quilty, Roger Williams, 
Mackenzie Bright, Tufts
Kelly Kilmo, Tufts

Allie Puccio, Babson
Caroline Flaharty, Bowdoin
Becca Raffel, Middlebury
Jen Donnelly, Springfield
Heather Holz, Tufts
Stasie Litinsky, Wesleyan (Conn.)
Kaira Muraoka-Robertson, Wesleyan (Conn.)

* One additional student-athlete recognized due to a tie in the voting.

NEWVA All-Rookie Team

Allie Puccio, Babson
Kate Kiser, Bowdoin
Hannah Dolan, Johnson & Wales (R.I.)
Andie Maloney, MIT
Lauren Gedney, Wellesley
Phia Bellizzi, Wesleyan (Conn.)
Harper Graves (Wesleyan, Conn.)