Dorton Wins CAA Player of the Year; CofC Dominates CAA Season Awards
CHARLESTON, SC -
College of Charleston volleyball celebrated a night of recognition on the deck of the U.S.S. Yorktown as the Colonial Athletic Association honored the Cougars with the top awards for the 2013 season at the CAA Volleyball banquet.
Redshirt-senior Darcy Dorton won the Conference Player of the Year award, redshirt-junior Kallie McKown won the Setter of the Year award and Jason Kepner won CAA Coach of the Year.
CofC also dominated the All-CAA honors, picking up a league-best five players on the three teams. Dorton and junior Sloane White were named All-CAA First Team, redshirt-junior Cara Howley made All-CAA Second Team and Kerstin Koehler and Melissa Morello were picked for the All-CAA Third Team. Morello also earned a spot on the All-CAA Academic Team.
College of Charleston won the CAA Regular Season title with a 23-5 record, 13-1 in conference, boasting a perfect 7-0 record in conference road matches. The championship was the first in the new conference for any College of Charleston sport, and represented the 13th-consecutive regular season or tournament championship for the volleyball team, dating back to 2001.
Hailing from Muncie, Ind., Dorton earned her first career conference Player of the Year honor after she finished the season with four CAA Offensive Player of the Week awards and the second-best kill average (3.61) in the conference. This past week, she became the only active volleyball player in NCAA Division I to win conference championships in three different conferences (Big 10, SoCon, CAA) after starting her career with Penn State.
Dorton lived up to her preseason reputation where she was named the CAA Preseason Player of the Year. With this end-of-year award, she became the first CAA player to win the Preseason POY and Player of the Year award in recent history. Dorton finished the season with 354 kills, hitting .229 from the floor. She averaged 2.48 digs per set and tallied a team-high 10 double-doubles.
McKown won the first postseason honor of her collegiate career, taking home the CAA Setter of the Year trophy. A native of Salt Lake City, Utah, McKown teamed with senior Taeler Davis in Charleston's unstoppable 6-2, two-setter offense. McKown led the team with 566 assists (5.90/set), and ranked second in the league in assists for CAA matches only. She also helped the Cougars lead the conference in team assists with 13.08/set, a mark that ranks 31st in the nation. Playing back row, McKown averaged 2.03 digs/set and finished with seven double-doubles on the season.
Finishing up his seventh year at the helm of College of Charleston, Kepner won his first CAA Coach of the Year Award. It marked the second such honor of his career after he won the SoCon Coach of the Year Award in 2008. The 2013 team posted a winning percentage of .821 (23-5) in the regular season which is the second-highest in Kepner's seven-year stretch. He holds the remarkable distinction of winning the conference Coach of the Year award in his first season in a new conference, the first volleyball coach to accomplish that in CofC history. Kepner now holds a career record of 175-57 (.754) with an outstanding 101-13 (.886) mark in conference play.
A junior right-side hitter from Indianapolis, Ind., White earned All-CAA First Team honors after another consistently outstanding season. She ranked second on the team in kills (2.55/set) and hit .310 which ranked third in the conference. She was a member of the preseason All-CAA team, and enters the postseason just 12 kills shy of 1,000 for her career. White's top performance this came in a win against Seattle where she tallied 14 kills against just one error for a career-best attack mark of .650.
Redshirt-junior transfer Howley made a big impact in her first year in the program, earning All-CAA Second Team honors. After three years at South Carolina, Howley came to Charleston and served notice to the CAA with her firepower from the right side. She finished second in the league in hitting percentage (.320), tallying 215 kills. She also led the CAA in service aces, averaging 0.31 per set.
Redshirt-senior Kerstin Koehler earned her first career conference honors with placement on the All-CAA Third Team. She posted the top hitting percentage (.343) in the conference and led College of Charleston with 91 blocks (1.03/set). Against CAA teams, the Weaverville, N.C. native averaged 1.24 blocks per set, ranking fourth in the conference.
Sophomore outside hitter Melissa Morello also garnered a spot on the All-CAA Third Team after starting the year as a CAA Preseason Honorable Mention honoree. Morello was third on the team in kills (2.34/set) and she averaged 2.37 digs per set, finishing the season with four double-doubles.
2013 ALL-CAA VOLLEYBALL TEAMS
Selected by CAA Volleyball Coaches
Player, SchoolCl.Pos.Hometown/Previous School
Kelly Bacon, Northeastern Sr. OH Temecula, Calif./Temecula Valley
Lizzy Briones, James Madison Jr. MB Siloam Springs, Ark./Siloam Springs
Darcy Dorton, Coll. of Charleston Sr. OH Muncie, Ind./Penn State
Christi Laite, UNCW Sr. RS Severna Park, Md./Severna Park
Sloane White, Coll. of Charleston Jr. RS Indianapolis, Ind./Brebeuf Jesuit
Kelsie Wills, Hofstra Jr. OH Matamata, New Zealand/Matamata