Bill Ziskin

UAlbany Volleyball Earns Three 2017 America East Volleyball Yearly Awards

UAlbany Sports Information   11-16-2017

ALBANY, N.Y. – The America East regular season champion UAlbany volleyball team was well represented in the conference’s yearly awards, with the squad earning three league yearly honors.

Nicole Otero reclaimed the America East Defensive Specialist of the Year honor, while Tatiana Tiangco earned an America East Co-Rookie of the Year award.  The staff of head coach MJ Engstrom, associate head coach Josh Pickard and assistant coach Traci Vandegrift are honored as the America East Coaching Staff of the Year.

Three Great Danes earned America East All-Conference recognition, with Otero and Akuabata Okenwa being placed on the First Team and Kelly Cameron being put on the Second Team.

In addition, Tiangco and Danielle Tedesco were selected to the America East All-Rookie Team and Chloe Evering was honored on the America East All-Academic Team. 

Otero is the America East Defensive Specialist of the Year for the second time, earning that honor in 2015, and all-conference honors for the third straight season with getting on First Team for the first time.  A six-time America East Defensive Specialist of the Year, the junior libero was second in the league with 4.8 digs per set, totaling 394, and first in the league with 5.63 digs per set in conference matches.  She added 13 service aces and 73 assists, notching double digit digs 17 times this year.

Tiangco is the first AE Rookie of the Year from UAlbany since Amanda Dolan in 2013.  Playing in 22 matches with 20 starts for UAlbany, the freshman outside hitter finished with 183 kills and 44 digs.  She was seventh in the America East in kills per set in conference matches at 3.02, totaling 130, earning the league Rookie of the Week award three times.

Okenwa joins the all-conference team for the first time.  The redshirt sophomore outside hitter is UAlbany’s leader in kills with 268, ranking third in the America East with 3.31 kills per set and 3.78 points per set, adding 57 blocks and 161 digs.  She earned four double-doubles and one America East Player of the Week honor.

Cameron picks up her first all-conference selection in her first year as UAlbany’s starting setter.  A four-time America East Setter of the Week, the sophomore tallied 653 assists, 176 digs, 28 blocks, 64 kills and 11 service aces on the year.  She helped UAlbany hit .225 against the America East with 10.47 assists per set.

Tedesco lands on the all-rookie team after being UAlbany’s leader in total blocks with 61, ranking 10th in the America East with 0.8 blocks per set and 6th in league matches at 1.02 blocks per set.  The freshman middle blocker ranked fourth in the league with a .277 hitting percentage, totaling 108 kills.

Evering is honored on the league’s all-academic team in her first year eligible.  The sophomore outside hitter has the highest GPA of anyone on the America East All-Academic Team at 3.97 in biology.  On the court, she is second on UAlbany in kills with 192 in 24 matches played, adding 78 digs and 30 blocks. 

The awards were announced as the annual America East Tournament banquet on Thursday in the UAlbany campus center.

In the other America East major awards, Sarah Ngo of Binghamton was the league’s Setter of the Year while Gabby Alicea is the conference’s Player of the Year.  Tiangco shared the rookie honor with Carmen Freeman of UMBC.

UAlbany headed back to the court, taking on Stony Brook for the America East Tournament semifinal round at 7 p.m. in the University Gym on Friday, November 17th.

America East Volleyball Awards – UAlbany

Major Awards:

--Defensive Specialist of the Year: Nicole Otero

--Co-Rookie of the Year: Tatiana Tiangco

--Coaching Staff of the Year: UAlbany

All-Conference First Team: Akuabata Okenwa, Nicole Otero

All-Conference Second Team: Kelly Cameron

All-Rookie Team: Danielle Tedesco, Tatiana Tiangco

All-Academic Team: Chloe Evering

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