Baker Named Coach of the Year; Four Earn All-league Honors

By Matt Faulkner

(Center Valley, Pa. – Nov. 12, 2012) After leading the Colgate volleyball team to its best league record in program history, head coach Ryan Baker was named Patriot League Coach of the Year, while four players were selected to all-league teams.

Baker earned the honor for the second time in his career after being named coach of the year in 2007, which was his second season. He guided the Raiders to a 12-2 mark in League play, including an undefeated run through the first leg, made all the more impressive in that five of those contests were on the road. Since beginning the season 1-10, the Raiders have gone 14-3 and sewed up their first tournament hosting gig since 1996.

Earlier this season Baker, who is in his seventh year in Hamilton, N.Y., won his 100th match on the Raiders’ sidelines. He has coached the Raiders to the Patriot League Tournament for the sixth time in his seven seasons.

In addition to Baker’s award, the Raiders had four players get recognition for their play this season. Lindsay Young was named to the All-Patriot League First Team for the second time in the last two seasons. The junior ranked fifth in the conference in kills per set at 2.88 and finished with 302 strikes, which led the Raiders and was second in the league. She recorded double-digits in kills in 17 matches, including a 20-kill effort against Syracuse in the second match of the season. She also posted one of her four double-doubles with a season-high 13 digs.

Joining Young with postseason honors were Caitlin Cremin, Kaylee Fifer and Diane Seely. All three earned second team All-Patriot League recognition.

Cremin was selected to a postseason All-Patriot League team for the first time. She led the league during the season in service aces with 41, which was 13 more than second place. She was also exceptional on the backline with 430 digs, which was third in the league overall and her mark of 4.02 per set, ranked fourth.

Fifer continues to be one of the best setters in the conference and this year was no different as she earned second team All-Patriot League honors for the second time. She finished with 759 assists for fourth in the league and her average of 7.16 for fifth. Led the Raiders with 20 double-doubles in assists and digs and had her best match of the season in a tough loss to Lehigh as she posted 28 assists and 20 digs. She also is Colgate’s main leader on the court.

Seely has emerged as one of the best hitters and blockers in the conference. She finished with 231 kills and had a hitting percentage of .226, which was second behind Fifer for best on the team. Seely’s average of 2.4 kills per set is ninth in the league as she is one of three Raiders in the top-10. She has a big presence on the defensive side of the net as well with a total of 83 blocks, including 17 solos and 66 assisted blocks. The 83 stuffs rank fifth in the conference.

The 2012 Patriot League Volleyball Tournament takes place this Saturday and Sunday at Colgate’s Cotterell Court in Hamilton. The top-seeded Raiders will take on No. 4 seed Lehigh in Saturday’s first semifinal at 3 p.m., while No. 2 American goes up against third seed Army at 6 p.m. Sunday’s championship match will feature the semifinal winners at 3 p.m. The winner earns an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.

 

2012 Volleyball All-Patriot League Team and Major Awards

Player of the Year – Ariana Mankus, Army, Sr., OH
Setter of the Year – Mary Vaccaro, Army, So., S
Libero of the Year – Rachel Charles, Lehigh, Jr., L
Rookie of the Year – Alex Karika, Navy, Fr., S
Coach of the Year – Ryan Baker, Colgate

 

First Team
Morgan Hendrix, American, Jr., Opp./MB
Sara Rishell, American, So., OH/MB
Ariana Mankus, Army, Sr., OH
Mary Vaccaro, Army, So., S
Lindsay Young, Colgate, Jr., OH
Taylor Poole, Lehigh, Sr., MB
Erin Fortner, Navy, Jr., OH

 

Second Team
Margaux Jarka, Army, Jr., OH
D.J. Phee, Army, Jr., L
Caitlin Cremin, Colgate, Jr., L
Kaylee Fifer, Colgate, Jr., S
Diane Seely, Colgate, So., MB
Rachel Charles, Lehigh, Jr., L
Alex Karika, Navy, Fr., S

 

 

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