Regional Host JWU Captures Three GNAC Women's Volleyball Major Honors


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wildcats place seven on
2017 All-Conference Teams

WINTHROP, Mass. – Three-time defending Great Northeast Athletic Conference champion Johnson & Wales University has placed seven student-athletes on the 2017 GNAC Women's Volleyball All-Conference Teams, including three on the First Team, as the league office announced its annual awards on Tuesday.

Sophomores Maria Coniglio and Brylee Frank were First Team selections along with Libero of the Year and freshman Elyssa Nicolas, while fellow freshman Hannah Dolan was voted the league's Rookie of the Year as a Second Team choice. Sophomore Kate Walker and junior Katie Leidhold, a Division II transfer, joined Dolan as Second Team selections.

Fourth-year head coach Nancy Somera was selected as the GNAC Coach of the Year following a vote by her fellow coaches. Somera has guided the Wildcats to a perfect 32-0 record entering the NCAA Tournament, as JWU, which is ranked No. 10 in the AVCA national poll, will serve as one of eight regional hosts beginning Friday, November 10 at the Wildcat Center in Providence, R.I.

Simmons College sophomore Morgan Weeg received GNAC Player of the Year honors, as the outside hitter was invaluable in leading the Sharks to an 11-1 record in GNAC play, including the No. 2 seed in the GNAC Tournament. The Goodyear, Ariz. native led the conference with 4.20 kills per set on a .263 hitting percentage. She also contributed 2.05 digs per set.

For the complete list of All-Conference and All-Sportsmanship Team selections, please see below.

For the JWU First Team trio, Coniglio has posted per-set marks of 3.24 kills and 3.02 digs per set, while Frank easily leads the GNAC with 10.24 assists per set and Nicolas is averaging 4.14 digs per set.

Rookie of the Year Dolan hit a stellar .406 and has averaged 2.10 kills per set for the Wildcats en route to her Second Team selection. Walker is currently ranked No. 1 in Division III with her .509 hitting percentage, while averaging 2.81 kills and 0.86 blocks per set. Leidhold, a year after competing at Franklin Pierce University in the Northeast-10 Conference, has contributed across the board with per-set averages of 2.73 kills, 0.44 blocks, 0.53 service aces and 2.61 digs.

Also receiving First Team recognition was Lasell College junior Olivia Addington, Mount Ida College senior Mary Kate Reidy and Rivier University junior Hayley Macken. Addington was second among GNAC leaders with 3.76 kills per set, Reidy averaged 3.10 kills and 3.32 digs per set, and Macken averaged 8.57 assists per set for the Raiders.

First Team
Maria Coniglio, Johnson & Wales (RI) (So., Old Bethpage, N.Y.)
Brylee Frank, Johnson & Wales (RI) (So., Palm City, Fla.)
Elyssa Nicolas, Johnson & Wales (RI) (Fr., Brisbane, Calif.)
Olivia Addington, Lasell (Jr., Orange, Calif.)
Mary Kate Reidy, Mount Ida (Sr., Agawam, Mass.)
Hayley Macken, Rivier (Jr., Clifton Park, N.Y.)
Morgan Weeg, Simmons (So., Goodyear, Ariz.)

Second Team
Hannah Dolan, Johnson & Wales (RI) (Fr., San Clemente, Calif.)
Katie Leidhold, Johnson & Wales (RI) (Jr., Acushnet, Mass.)
Kate Walker, Johnson & Wales (RI) (So., Oakland, Calif. )
Caitlyn Garcia, Lasell (Sr., Moreno Valley, Calif.)
Taylor Dunster, Rivier (So., Sutton, Mass.)
Jordynne Copp, Saint Joseph's (Me.) (Sr., Cumberland, Maine)
Jarene Harberts, Simmons (Fr., Naples, Fla.)

Third Team
Mary Shelow, Emmanuel (Mass.) (Jr., Miami, Fla.)
Gabbie Scudder, Johnson & Wales (RI) (Fr., Ashburn, Va.)
Taylor Tiezzi, Lasell (Sr., Meriden, Conn.)
Katryna Veasey, Regis (Mass.) (So., Quincy, Mass.)
Julia Zargaj, Rivier (Fr., Groveland, Mass.)
Jennelle Thompson, Saint Joseph's (Me.) (Jr., Farmington, N.H.)
Hannah Fabiano, Suffolk (Fr., Litchfield, N.H.)

Player of the Year – Morgan Weeg, Simmons
Libero of the Year – Elyssa Nicolas, Johnson & Wales (RI)
Rookie of the Year – Hannah Dolan, Johnson & Wales (RI)
Coach of the Year – Nancy Somera, Johnson & Wales (RI)
Institutional Sportsmanship Award – University of Saint Joseph (Conn.)

All-Sportsmanship Team
Delaney Ruiz, Albertus Magnus (So., Meriden, Conn.)
Abygail Chapdelaine, Anna Maria (Fr., East Longmeadow, Mass.)
Katharine Journeay, Emmanuel (Jr., Hampton, N.H.)
Monica Cordova, Johnson & Wales (Jr., Jersey City, N.J.)
Kelly Cappitella, Lasell (So., East Haddam, Conn.)
Cassidy Bechtle, Mount Ida (Fr., Henniker, N.H.)
Emily Oliver, Norwich (Jr., Sagamore Hills, Ohio)
Caroline Fuentes, Regis (Mass.) (Jr., Downey, Calif.)
Erin Rosa, Rivier (Sr., Cumberland, R.I.)
Janell Molina, Saint Joseph (CT) (Jr., Honolulu, Hawaii)
Jordynne Copp, Saint Joseph's (ME) (Sr., Cumberland, Maine)
Hannah Fabiano, Suffolk (Fr., Litchfield, N.H.)


Founded in 1995, the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) is an NCAA Division III association made up of 13 member institutions and over 3,000 student-athletes across the New England region. Each year, the GNAC sponsors and administers 20 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunities and community involvement. 

#TheGNAC