NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Sophomore middle blocker Samantha Garza of Nyack College has been named the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Player of the Year as announced today along with the all-conference teams and major award winners by Commissioner Dan Mara. Garza’s mentor Raquel Shaffer was named Coach of the Year as voted by the league’s sports information directors, Allison Briley of Wilmington University was tabbed as Rookie of the Year and Nyack College was honored with the Team Sportsmanship Award as voted on by the conference’s 14 coaches.
Garza slammed a conference leading 379 kills in 32 matches this season and was ranked fourth in league play with 246 kills. The native of North Branch, N.J. is ranked in the top-10 in 11 statistical categories overall and nine conference-only categories. An All-CACC honorable mention performer in 2012 as a freshman, Garza is ranked fifth in total blocks (85), sixth in block assists (60), sixth in block solos (25) and fourth in points per set (4.0), while hitting .270 (4th) in 2013. In her 32 total contests this season, she recorded a league-leading 454 points. She was honored as the CACC Player of the Week on October 21st after leading the Warriors to a 3-0 week.
Briley led the Wildcats this season in kills (293) and kills per set (2.64), while ending the year second on the team with 2.8 points per set. The outside hitter from Monroeville, Pa. finished conference play ranked eighth in the CACC in hitting percentage, .272. Briley’s best match this season came on October 25 versus the University of the Sciences when she recorded 17 kills and 18 digs to power the Wildcats to an important 3-1 win.
Shaffer has led Nyack to a 13-6 conference record and an overall 17-15 mark. The Warriors will be the #2 seed in the North Division for the CACC Tournament. The former NAIA All-American for Nyack in 2001 can now claim the 2013 Player of the Year in Garza, All-CACC second team member Brianna Kane and honorable mention Michelle Makela as well as her team garnering the Team Sportsmanship Award.
Joining Garza on the All-CACC First Team is Brittany Biddle and Katie Shorter of Wilmington; Jaclyn Del Cid and Taylor Zaeske of Caldwell College; Chelsea Keegan of Holy Family University; and Brittany Olson of Philadelphia University.
Named to the All-CACC Second Team are Anabelle Barinas of Georgian Court University; Amanda DeAngelo of the University of the Sciences; Tori Dexter of Dominican College; Olivia Emerson of Felician College; Emma Herring of Holy Family; Emily Wilman of Post University; Regina Trabosh of Chestnut Hill College; and Brianna Kane of Nyack.
Briley, Makela, Jhoan Agosto Rivera of Georgian Court, and Sarah Ambach of Holy Family were named All-CACC Honorable Mention.
The Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference is an NCAA Division II Conference composed of 14 institutions in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The member institutions are Bloomfield College, Caldwell College, Chestnut Hill College, Concordia (N.Y.) College, Dominican (N.Y.) College, Felician College, Georgian Court University, Goldey-Beacom College, Holy Family University, Nyack College, Philadelphia University, Post University, University of the Sciences and Wilmington University.