BEVERLY, Mass. - November 5, 2018 - The New England Women’s Volleyball Coaches Association (NEWVA) has released their 2018 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 Player of the Year
Brylee Frank, Jr., S from Palm City, Fla.
Johnson & Wales (R.I.)
In her junior season for the Wildcats, Frank has led Johnson & Wales (R.I.) to historic heights. Currently ranked No. 2 in the most recent AVCA DIII Coaches Poll, the Wildcats swept through the GNAC schedule and claimed the program's fourth straight GNAC title. A top seed in the region, JWU (31-1, 12-0 GNAC) will play host to a NCAA DIII regional pod in the upcoming DIII Tournament.
Frank has averaged 11.09 assists per set and 2.68 digs per set for the season to date, both career-high marks for the junior. In her 32 matches and 103 sets played, the Florida native has guided the Wildcats to both the highest win percentage in all of NCAA Division III at .969, and the highest team hitting percentage as well at .298. The setter has garnered NEWVA All-New England First Team honors and earned GNAC Player of the Week honors twice in 2018.
Frank received 18 first-place votes by NEWVA head coaches.
NEWVA Rookie of the Year
Cate Desler, Fr., OH/RS from Hillsborough, Calif.
Following a freshman campaign in which she led Tufts offensively, pin hitter Cate Desler has garnered NEWVA Rookie of the Year honors. Hillsborough, Calif. native led the Jumbos to a NESCAC Semifinal appearance, and an overall record of 16-10 in the 2018 season.
The freshman led the Jumbos in kills (247), kills per set (2.68), points (308.5) and points per set (3.4), while tying for second in digs (209), and third in digs per set (2.27).
Following her campaign, Desler was named to the NEWVA All-Rookie Team and garnered NEWVA All-New England Honorable Mention accolades.
Desler received 11 first-place votes by NEWVA head coaches.
NEWVA Coach of the Year
Nancy Somera, 5th season
Johnson & Wales (R.I.)
In just her fifth season at the helm of the Johnson & Wales (R.I.) women's volleyball program, Nancy Somera has led the Wildcats to a 31-1 (12-0 GNAC) record, their fourth straight GNAC title, the NCAA DIII Tournament, and home court advantage in the upcoming NCAA DIII Tournament as JWU will serve as a host site this coming weekend.
JWU climbed the AVCA national rankings throughout the season, and have remained at No. 2 in the country since the middle of October. With the Wildcats' lone loss coming agaisnt Cal Lutheran on the opening weekend, Somera has guided the team to 31 straight wins, by far the longest active streak in all of Division III. Somera coached Brylee Frank to NEWVA Player of the Year honors as the Wildcats currently possess the top team hitting percentage at .298.
In the NEWVA Coach of the Year voting, Somera took home 18 first-place first votes.
Brylee Frank, Johnson & Wales (R.I.)
Abby Bertics, MIT
Yasmine Reece, Wellesley
Caroline Flaharty, Bowdoin
Kate Walker, Johnson & Wales (R.I.)
Phia Bellizzi, Wesleyan (Conn.)
Allie Puccio, Babson
Jen Donnelly, Springfield
Isabel Sessions, Middlebury
Lisa Sheldon, Bowdoin
Maria Coniglio, Johson & Wales (R.I.)
Emma Mancini, Endicott
Elyssa Nicolas, Johnson & Wales (R.I.)
Elizabeth Cameron, Babson
Heather Holz, Tufts
Zoey Gifford, Endicott
Cate Desler, Tufts
Emma Bartlett, Brandeis
Kate Kiser, Bowdoin
Leah Rogoz, Wentworth
Eileen-Shi, UMass Boston
Sarah Staver, Middlebury
* One additional student-athlete recognized due to a tie in the voting.
Cate Desler, Tufts
Sara Labadorf, Springfield
Sophia Pahl, Bowdoin
Corley Doyle, Middlebury
Nicole Doerges, Wellesley
Colleen McAvoy, Endicott
Anna Barry, Eastern Conn. St.