Nov. 8, 2007
ASTON, Pa. - Neumann College Volleyball Head Coach Deana Jespersen was named Coach of the Year, for the third consecutive season, by the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference. Neumann also named six players to the All-Conference team including Kristen Verone (Folsom, Pa. /(Cardinal O'Hara), Julia Tarloski (Malvern, Pa. /Bishop Shanahan), Meghan Wilson (West Chester, Pa. /Bishop Shanahan), Ashley Mathis (Norristown, Pa. /Norristown), Rachael Sokolovich (Media, Pa. /Ridley) and Lindsay Buckland (Middletown, De. /Caravel Academy).
The awards come in the shadows of the Knights' first NCAA Tournament appearance this evening, Thursday, November 8, at Haverford College. Neumann defeated 10-time defending champion Eastern University in the PAC Championship game, on Thursday, November 4, to advance to the NCAA Tournament posting a 3-1 decision over the Eagles (30-25, 28-30, 30-24, 36-34) on November 4. Currently, Neumann has a 23-10 overall record and went 10-1 in PAC play this season, marking the program's best record since 1999 (23-5, 10-0).
The conference honors were broken into four teams; first team, second team, honorable mention and the sportsmanship team. Tarloski, Verone, and Wilson were named to the first team while Sokolovich and Mathis were placed on the second team. Sophomore Lindsay Buckland was named to the 2007 All-PAC Sportsmanship team.
Jespersen led the Knights to their best start since 1999 and their best overall record since 1999. The team broke the record for most consecutive home wins with eleven. The Knights also broke the records for most kills in a season with 1,526 and most points with 2104.0 (1526k 336a 115-254b). Coach Jespersen also guided Neumann to its third PAC tournament, first PAC championship title and first NCAA appearance.
Verone led the team in assists with 1,112 good for second all-time at Neumann for kills in a season. She also is the all-time assists career leader with 3,226 assists. Verone was first on the team in service percentage with a 0.54 service ace per game average and was a PAC Player of the Week for week ending October 22.
Tarloski, a 2007 PAC Player of the Week Honorable Mention honoree, led the Knights in blocks his season with 44 solo blocks and 59 block assists. She owns .92 blocks per game average, proving to be a definite threat at the net. Tarloski also led the Knights in attack percentage with a .277 average and recorded her 1,000th kill in a 3-0 sweep of DeSales University on Oct. 27, 2007.
Wilson led the team in digs with 542 good for second all-time at Neumann for the most digs in a single season. She notched 5.02 digs per game placing her third in the conference in the category. She is also a member of the Neumann Knights 1,000 digs club. Wilson became just the fourth player in school history to record 1,000 career digs as the Knights swept Cedar Crest College on October 15.
Newcomer Ashley Mathis was named to the All-PAC second team as a first-year member of the Neumann Knights team. She compiled 354 kills in 2007 good for fifth all-time in kills in a season. Her 3.37 kills per game is fourth all-time in the category. She also was fourth this season in block assists and block solos with a .43 blocks per game average.
Team Captain and two-year All-PAC Honorable Mention honoree (2006 and 2005) Rachael Sokolovich joined Mathis on the All-PAC Second team after leading the Knights both on and off the court this season. Sokolovich led the Knights in kills with 373 and garnered a 3.42 kills per game average. She is third all-time in career kills (988) and total points with 1148.5 (988k 103a 30-55b).
Rounding out the Knights' All-PAC honors was sophomore Lindsay Buckland who was recognized as team's 2007 PAC Sportsmanship award winner. This award is presented to one individual on each PAC team who has made the most significant contributions to the well-being of the team in terms of attitude, improvement and leadership. Buckland appeared in 30 games and 71 matches in her sophomore season. She recorded 75 kills, 24 assists and 42 total blocks for the Knights.
Neumann will continue its season tonight in the first round of the NCAA Volleyball Tournament hosted by Haverford College in Haverford, Pa. The six-seeded Neumann Knights will take on third-seeded Elizabethtown College at 6:00 p.m.
PAC Regular Season Volleyball Award Winners and PAC Honorees
All-PAC Volleyball First Team:
All-PAC Volleyball Second Team:
Christina Boyer, Centenary College,
All-PAC Sportsmanship Team
Alvernia College: Natalie Minnich
Neumann College Athletics Women's Volleyball