CAMBRIDGE, MA -- On the day on which the Lynx learned the team's first-ever NCAA Tournament opponent, Lesley University middle hitter Amanda McCracken (Eldersburg, MD/Liberty) was named 2010 New England Collegiate Conference Player of the Year.
The sophomore led the Lynx to a 19-9 record and an NECC title in Saturday's 3-2 win at No. 1 seed Daniel Webster, capping a season in which she transformed herself into the league's elite force at, and in her case above, the net. Also an All-NECC First Team selection, she led the league with a .419 hitting percentage, setting a new Lesley single-season record with 448 kills. She also led the conference with 510 points and 5.43 points per set.
Equally a force on the defensive side of the net, McCracken established a new program record with 95 total blocks (55 solo, 40 assisted), breaking Lindsey Marek's 2007 mark of 91 blocks. A business management and art therapy double-major, McCracken was three times named the NECC Player of the Week in 2010.
Also represented from Lesley as All-NECC Honorable Mention selections were fellow sophomores Megan Ortwein and Kaitlyn Miller. Ortwein ranks second on the team with 187 kills (4.39 per set) and 238 digs (2.33 per set), also adding 24 total blocks.
As McCracken ascended to the status of the league's elite hitter, her setter, Miller, paved the way. Miller led the league with 7.85 assists per set and a league-best 738 assists in all, setting a new Lesley record.
McCracken's Lynx learned Monday morning the team's 2010 NCAA Tournament match-up. Lesley will take on No. 1 seed Amherst College on Friday at 5:30 p.m. on the campus of host Springfield College.
2010 NECC WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Amanda McCracken, Lesley, SO. (Eldersburg, Md.)
2010 NECC WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL DEFENSIVE SPECIALIST OF THE YEAR: Joanna Hogue, Southern Vermont, Jr., (Los Gatos, Calif.)
2010 NECC WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Ashley Fuller, Elms, Fr., (Amherst, Mass.)
2010 NECC WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL COACH OF THE YEAR: Braden Zamore, Daniel Webster
2010 NECC WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL TEAM SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD: Bay Path College
2010 ALL-NECC WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL FIRST
Amanda McCracken, Lesley, Sophomore
Chelsey Crawford, Daniel Webster, Sophomore
Caitlyn DiPierro, Daniel Webster, Junior
Ashliy Velez, Southern Vermont, Junior
Hershey Canta, Southern Vermont, Junior
Joann Hogue, Southern Vermont, Junior
2010 ALL-NECC WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL SECOND TEAM
Ashley Fuller, Elms, Freshman
Samantha Hill, Daniel Webster, Sophomore
Stacy Croteau, Elms, Junior
Emily Travis, Daniel Webster, Junior
Jenn Rego, Elms, Junior
Stephanie McKeon, Mitchell, Senior
2010 ALL-NECC WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL HONORABLE MENTION
Stephanie Williams, Newbury, Sophomore
Amy Chen, Newbury, Senior
Melissa Clark, Elms, Senior
Kaitlyn Miller, Lesley, Sophomore
Megan Ortwein, Lesley, Sophomore
Nadine Harkless, Bay Path, Junior