Nov. 17, 2007
TRUMBULL, Conn. - Loyola College sophomore setter Chrissey Cruz was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference co-Setter of the Year, and freshman outside hitter Nina Camaioni earned MAAC Rookie of the Year honors, tonight at the 2007 MAAC Volleyball Banquet at the Trumbull Marriott.
The Greyhounds (22-11) open play in the MAAC Championships tomorrow when they play host Fairfield in the semifinals at 11 a.m.
Cruz also became Loyola's first All-MAAC First Team member since 2002. Camaioni earned All-MAAC Second Team honors along with sophomore middle blocker Karlee Woodward.
Woodward was one of four Loyola players named to the MAAC All-Academic Team. She was joined by junior middle blocker Rachel Schillinger, junior outside hitter Maddie Fuller and junior defensive specialist Samantha Greenbaum.
Cruz, who shared the MAAC Setter of the Year award with Fairfield's Barbie Thistle, finished the regular-season with a school single-season record 1,381 assists. She finished second in the conference with a 11.14 assists per game average. Loyola improved its attack by over two kills per game from last year to this, and Cruz helped five Loyola hitters average 2.05 or more kills per game.
She also was a key part of Loyola's defense and block, averaging 2.48 digs and 0.40 blocks per game.
"Chrissey has worked very hard, and she deserves this award," said Loyola Head Coach Kristina Hernandez. "She has done a great job leading the team this year and running the court."
Camaioni earned four MAAC Rookie of the Week awards during the season and led the Gryehounds with 3.49 kills per game as a first-year player. She also averaged 4.04 digs per game, finishing the season eighth in the conference in kills and seventh in digs.
"Nina has proven to herself and to everyone in the conference that she is a great all-around player," Hernandez said. "She was in the top 10 in kills and the top 10 in defense, and she was the only rookie in the conference that was able to do that. That set her apart from the other rookies."
Camaioni also led the team with 43 service aces and contributed 0.52 blocks per game.
Woodward paced the Greyhounds with a .313 hitting percentage during the season and earned MAAC Offensive Player of the Week honors on November 12. She was fourth in the conference in hitting percentage and second on the team in kills per game (2.76).
Woodward led the conference in total blocks and tied for the league lead in blocks per game during the regular season with 1.26 per game.
"Karlee has improved her blocking consistency and her kills per game from last year," Hernandez said. "She had her moments of great games last year, and this year she posted very consistent numbers in every conference match."
The Greyhounds finished the regular-season with their most wins (22) since the 1992 season. The team also finished with the third seed in the MAAC Championships, the highest it has been ranked since 1997.