Lexington, Ky. - November 15, 2016 - Springfield College first-year Anagabrielle Sanchez (Caguas, Puerto Rico) was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III New England Co-Freshman of the Year, while four members of her program earned all-region honors.
In addition to Sanchez's player of the year achievement, Lauren Holt (Granby, Conn.), Marnae Mawdsley (Bolton, Conn.), and Kayleigh Helgesen (Oceanside, Calif.) joined Sanchez on the AVCA New England All-Region Team. This season, Springfield was one of only seven schools from across the nation to have at least four all-region selections.
In her first season with the Pride, Sanchez became the first Springfield College women's volleyball student-athlete to ever earn the AVCA Regional Freshman of the Year accolade. As the Pride's libero this season, the Criminal Justice major produced 646 digs, averaging 5.30 per set, with her total digs ranking in the top 30 nationally. Sanchez is one of only three Springfield College student-athletes to eclipse the 600 dig total for a single season in program history, and finished the season ranked 4th on the program's all-time single season mark.
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 registered 347 kills at a sensational .359 clip, which ranks in the top 25 nationally. The New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Women's Volleyball Athlete of the Year and Defensive Athlete of the Year has recorded the most blocks of any women's volleyball student-athlete at the NCAA Division I, III, and III level with 193. To date, she is averaging 1.60 blocks per set, which is also currently is the best in Division III.
In her second season at Springfield, Helgesen continued to dominate on the pins. An especially versatile player for the Pride, the junior produced 313 kills at a .263 clip to go along with 59 blocks while playing both the left and right side. In addition to previously earning NEWMAC All-Conference honors, Helgesen picked up NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team accolades after powering the Pride to its second-straight appearance in the NCAA Championship Sweet 16.
Mawdsley earned her second-consecutive all-region accolade after orchestrating the Pride's offense this season to a .240 hitting percentage, which ranked in the top 20 nationally. After transitioning from a 6-2 to 5-1 offense early in the year, the Sport Management major totaled 1,023 assists and 320 digs and finished her career ranked sixth all-time in program history with 2,396 assists.