CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – After becoming the first team to post a 16-0 record in regular-season Patriot League play, the American University volleyball program brought home all five PL major awards, the league announced on Tuesday afternoon.
Senior Monika Smidova was selected as the Patriot League Volleyball Player of the Year, as well as the PL Setter of the Year. Sophomore Hoakalei Dawson was voted the PL Libero of the Year, freshman Carmen Unzue was recognized as the PL Rookie of the Year and Barry Goldberg was chosen the Coach of the Year.
Smidova repeats as the PL Player of the Year, marking the 11th time in 15 years that an Eagle has won the award. She also receives the Setter of the Year award for the third straight season.
Dawson is the first AU player to earn Libero of the Year honors, while Unzue is the sixth Eagle to be recognized as the Rookie of the Year and the first since 2011.
Goldberg, who has compiled a career record of 232-12 in Patriot League play, receives PL Coach of the Year honors for the sixth time after guiding the Eagles to their 13th regular-season title in 15 seasons.
Additionally, a total of four Eagles were honored on the All-Patriot League teams. Smidova was recognized as a unanimous first-team selection along with classmates Allison Cappellino and Kristyna Lindovska, while Dawson was voted to the second team.
Smidova, a native of Plzen, Czech Republic, earns the fourth all-league honor of her career and third first-team selection. An outstanding all-around player, she has averaged 9.97 assists, 3.05 digs, 1.44 kills, 0.43 service aces and 0.65 blocks per set, along with a .348 attack percentage. She ranks fourth in career assists at AU with 3,940, while ranking third in career digs with 1,239.
Cappellino, a native of Penfield, N.Y., repeats as a first-team all-league selection after leading the Eagles in kills for the second straight season. Ranking third in the league with 3.28 kills per set, Cappellino is also one of AU's leaders in digs, averaging 2.72 per set. She ranks second in program history with 1,370 career digs.
Lindovska, a native of Ostrava, Czech Republic, earns her third all-league honor, returning to the first team after receiving second-team accolades in 2014. This season she ranks second on the team in both kills per set (2.50) and blocks per set.
Dawson, a native of Kailua, Hawaii, has made the most of her move to the libero position this season, averaging a team-best 3.77 digs per set for the Eagles.
A middle blocker from Madrid, Spain, Unzue has had a solid freshman campaign, hitting a team-high .353 and ranking third on the team with 0.86 blocks per set.
American, which recorded a 25-6 overall record and 16-0 mark in the league during the regular season, will host the 2015 Patriot League Tournament this weekend, Nov. 21-22, in Bender Arena. The top-seeded Eagles will play fourth-seed Colgate on Saturday at 1 p.m., while second-seed Army West Point and third-seed Lehigh will face off at 4 p.m. The championship game will be held Sunday at 1 p.m.
2015 Volleyball All-Patriot League Teams and Major Award Winners
Player of the Year: Monika Smidova, American, Sr., S
Setter of the Year: Monika Smidova, American, Sr., S*
Libero of the Year: Hoakalei Dawson, American, So., L
Rookie of the Year: Carmen Unzue, American, Fr., MB
Coach of the Year: Barry Goldberg, American
First Team All-League
Monika Smidova, American, Sr., S*
Allison Cappellino, American, Sr., OH*
Kristyna Lindovska, American, Sr., OPP*
Vanessa Edwards, Army West Point, Sr., S
Leah Turner, Lehigh, Sr., OH
Kathleen Harris, Colgate, Jr., OH
Nicole Perri, Army West Point, Sr., OH
Second Team All-League
Stephanie Slater, Lehigh, Sr., RS
Carolyn Bockrath, Army West Point, So., MB
Karen Campbell, Bucknell, Sr., MB
Vanessa Wesley, Army West Point, So., MB/RS
Mandy Sifferlen, Holy Cross, Jr., OH
Hoakalei Dawson, American, So., L
Katie Stebbins, Colgate, Jr., RS/OH
* indicates a unanimous selection