Springfield, Mass. - November 28, 2016 - The Springfield College women's volleyball team had five student-athletes recognized by the New England Women's Volleyball Assocation (NEWVA) in their annual awards.
Lauren Holt (Granby, Conn.) highlighted the honors as she was named the NEWVA Player of the Year and was also chosen to the NEWVA All-New England First Team. Both Kayleigh Helgesen (Oceanside, Calif.) and Anagabrielle Sanchez (Caguas, Puerto Rico) were named NEWVA All-New England Honorable Mention selections, while Sanchez was chosen to the NEWVA All-Rookie Team. Additionally, Marnae Mawdsley (Bolton, Conn.) and Jennifer Hurwitz (Longmeadow, Mass.) will join Holt at the NEWVA Senior Classic.
The 2016 NEWVA Senior Classic, which is sponsored by adidas and The Graphic Edge, will take place on Sunday, December 4th starting at 11:00 a.m. at Tufts University starting with a skills competition followed by the all-star match.
In her final season at Springfield, Holt led the Pride to the NCAA Division III Championship Sweet 16 and a 29-6 record. Holt was named NEWMAC Athlete of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and to the All-Conference First Team before being named AVCA First Team All-Region, and ultimately AVCA First Team All-America. Holt averaged 2.87 kills and 1.60 blocks per set in her senior campaign, and season totals included 347 kills, a .359 hitting percentage, 26 service aces and 193 total blocks, including 58 solo stuffs. Holt is now a four-time NEWVA All-Region honoree after previously earning First Team honors in 2015 and Second Team in both 2013 and 2014.
As the Pride's libero this season, Sanchez produced 646 digs, averaging 5.30 per set, with her total digs ranking in the top 30 nationally. The Criminal Justice major 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. She previously was named an AVCA Honorable Mention All-America, the AVCA New England Co-Rookie of the Year, and garnered NEWMAC First Team All-Conference honors.
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 AVCA Honorable Mention All-America accolades after powering the Pride to its second-straight appearance in the NCAA Championship Sweet 16.
Mawdsley, who was also an AVCA Honorable Mention All-America honoree, orchestrated 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.
Hurwitz, who is majoring in Sports Biology major, appeared in 104 matches, registering 912 digs, 467 kills and 104 aces in her four years. Hurwitz's versatility and dedication made her a key piece of the squad, and allowed her to be named to the 2016 Springfield Invitational All-Tournament team, as well to the NEWMAC Academic All-Conference Team and the inaugural NEWMAC All-Sportsmanship Team.