Dec 11, 2013, 12:31 PM EDT
College of Charleston redshirt senior Darcy Dorton and Northeastern junior Natalia Skiba were honored Tuesday by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) as first-team All-East Coast and All-East Region members, respectively.
Both Dorton and Skiba were first-team All-CAA members and major award winners for the league as well. Dorton finished her impressive career being named the 2013 CAA volleyball Player of the Year, while Skiba was tabbed Defensive Specialist of the Year.
The CAA was also well represented by a pair of All-Region Honorable Mention team members in CofC junior right side hitter Sloane White and James Madison junior middle blocker Lizzy Briones.
A Muncie, Ind., native and former Penn State transfer, Dorton helped CofC capture both the CAA regular season and tournament titles in the program’s inaugural season in the conference. Dorton averaged 3.60 kills, 2.46 digs and 4.01 points per set this season on top of hitting .216. She paced a dangerous CofC offense that led the league in hitting percentage, assists and kills and completed a near-perfect 13-1 record in conference play.
It’s the outside hitter’s second AVCA All-Region team nod in as many years, while Dorton also earned All-Region honorable mention recognition with the Nittany Lions in 2009.
Skiba was consistently one of the top liberos in Division I in 2013, finishing the season ranking 10th in digs per set with an impressive 5.61 average. The Westmont, Ill., product did not miss any of her team’s 122 sets played this season, registered a league-high 684 digs and led the Huskies to the CAA title match along the way.
Skiba, who also won CAA Defensive Specialist of the Year in 2011, led NU defensively in all but one match during her junior campaign and helped the Huskies earn the No. 2 seed in the CAA championship. She is joined by fellow first-team All-CAA member Kelly Bacon as the only other Husky to earn first-team AVCA All-Region honors, which occurred in 2012.
White, who also played a large role in the Cougars’ stellar 2013 season, earns her first AVCA honor. The junior finished second on her team in kills per set (2.58), while ranking third in the CAA in hitting percentage (.309). White was named a first-team All-CAA and All-Tournament team member and even surpassed 1,000 career kills in the CAA title match, after notching 15 versus the Huskies in the 3-1 victory.
Briones was a pleasant surprise for the Dukes in 2013 and turned into one of the CAA’s top blockers. She became the first JMU player since 2006 to be recognized by the AVCA thanks to a solid junior campaign which saw her total over 300 kills and 150 blocks, the only player to accomplish such a feat in the league.
Five times this year Briones recorded 10 or more blocks, finishing with 154 total (1.387 per set) both good for second all-time in JMU single-season history. She registered 308 kills, had a .285 attack percentage and also added 89 digs for the Dukes, who finished tied for third in conference play with an 8-6 mark this fall.
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