Springfield, Mass. – November 9, 2016– Springfield College senior Lauren Holt (Granby, Conn.) was named both the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Women's Volleyball Athlete of the Year and the NEWMAC Women's Volleyball Defensive Athlete of the Year to highlight the Pride's all-conference selections.
Holt was joined by first-year Anagabrielle Sanchez (Caguas, Puerto Rico) on the all-conference first team, while Kayleigh Helgesen (Oceanside, Calif.) took home second-team honors for the second-straight season. Senior Jennifer Hurwitz (Longmeadow, Mass.) was selected to the inaugural NEWMAC Women's Volleyball All-Sportsmanship Team.
In the 30-year history of the NEWMAC, Holt is just the third student-athlete to repeat as NEWMAC Women's Volleyball Athlete of the Year. This marks the first time in Springfield College program history that a women's volleyball student-athlete has earned multiple NEWMAC Athlete of the Year honors, and Holt became the first-ever women's volleyball student to win the inaugural NEWMAC Women's Volleyball Defensive Athlete of the Year accolade.
In her senior season, Holt was dominant on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball for the Pride as Springfield earned its seventh-straight trip to the NCAA Championship. The Athletic Training major has registered 270 kills at a sensational .375 clip, which not only leads the league, but is also the 16th best hitting percentage in the nation. Defensively, she has put together a season for the ages, and currently has recorded the most blocks of any women's volleyball student-athlete at the NCAA Division I, III, and III level with 184. To date, she is averaging 1.69 blocks per set, which is also currently is the best in Division III.
In her first season with the Pride, Sanchez earned her first-team all-conference honor after a standout season as Springfield's libero. The Criminal Justice major has produced 571 digs, averaging 5.29 per set, with both of those marks ranking second in the league. Sanchez is one of only seven Springfield College student-athletes to eclipse the 500 dig total for a single season in program history, and currently ranks 8th on the program's all-time single season mark.
In her second season at Springfield, Helgesen continued to dominate on the pins. An especially versatile player for the Pride, the junior has produced 273 kills at a .264 clip to go along with 55 blocks while playing both the left and right side. She ranks in the top 10 in the conference in kills, kills per set, block assists, and points per set and has recorded double digit kills in 10 of her last 12 outings.
New to the conference this year, the NEWMAC has established an All-Sportsmanship Team for the 2016-17 Academic Year. The award is intended to recognize one student-athlete from each team, in every sport that best demonstrates the ideals of the NEWMAC and its Code of Conduct, regardless of his/her overall performance or statistics for the season.