Nov. 20, 2009
FAIRFIELD, CT - Junior Courtney Kidd-Kadlubek (Santa Barbara, CA) was named Northeast Conference Setter of the Year, while Rob Machan was selected Coach of the Year by his peers in the post-season awards announced on the eve of the NEC Tournament.
Kidd-Kadlubek was also named First Team All-Conference, as was sophomore teammate Brittany Best (Norco, CA). Sophomore Ashlyn Trimble (Temecula, CA) was selected Second Team All-NEC, as was freshman Elise Sage (Greenwood Village, CO).
Kidd-Kadlubek has been a force for the Pioneers the last three seasons and is the first Pioneer to earn NEC Setter of the Year accolades, along with her first career all-conference nod. The junior ranks first in the league in assists (1,158) and assists per game (10.82), which places her 42nd in the latest edition of the NCAA national rankings. The setter also ranks fourth in the NEC in service aces per game (0.37) to help the Pioneers earn a No. 2 ranking in Division I for aces per set (2.34).
Best has earned all-league merit in each of the last two seasons. She ranks seventh in the league in service aces per game (0.36) and kills per game (3.13). As a Pioneer, she ranks first in kills (332), kills per game (3.13) and points (389.5) as well as second in digs (275) and digs per game (2.59).
Trimble is first in the league in total service aces (59) and service aces per game (0.56). Not only is she the top-ranked server in the league, the outside hitter ranks seventh among all NCAA Division I athletes with that 0.56 mark - her highest placement of the season - en route to leading the team to a No. 2 ranking in that category.
Sage has made an immediate impact on the 2009 squad as the top-ranked Pioneer in the league with her .309 hitting percentage (fifth in NEC). She is only one of two freshmen to be selected to an all-conference team this year, alongside Breanna Cullity of LIU.
Coach Machan led SHU to a Division I school-record 18 wins last season, which propelled the Pioneers into their third straight postseason appearance and the team's first-ever run to the semifinal round. In 2009, Machan built on that success to an improved and new Division I school record with 22 wins in only his third year at the helm. The Pioneers' second-seeded finish is also the highest for any SHU group. Earlier this season, Machan and his young squad went on a seven-game win streak, the most in the league behind Long Island who tallied 10 wins in a row. This is Machan's first honor as NEC Coach of the Year.
In the other major awards, Long Island senior outside hitter Svetlana Simic was selected 2009 Northeast Conference Women's Volleyball Player of the Year, while a pair of Central Connecticut State Blue Devils got the other two big accolades. Kaitlin Petrella claimed NEC Libero of the Year while freshman Emily Cochran garnered NEC Rookie of the Year accolades.
The NEC Tournament begins tomorrow with top-seeded LIU taking on fourth-seed Robert Morris at noon. The second-seeded Pioneers face CCSU at 2:30.