CLEVELAND, Ohio – Following a record of 17-7 in the regular season and an automatic trip to the North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament semifinals, Denison volleyball was honored with four All-NCAC selections on Friday afternoon, including freshman Lucy Anderson as the Newcomer of the Year and Carter Cassell as the conference's Coach of the Year.
Also making her debut on the All-NCAC first-team, Anderson has put together quite the freshman season for the Big Red, leading the team with 226 kills and 80 total blocks. She ranks second on the team with a .286 hit percentage and 36 service aces, while her 1.05 blocks per set are the best in the NCAC.
A native of Bloomington, Ind., Anderson has tallied nine multi-kill performances during her freshman campaign, including a career-best 18 kills in DU's thrilling five-set victory over Ohio Wesleyan on Oct. 8. She added a season-high eight blocks against Wooster on Oct. 12 and was named the NCAC Player of the Week on Sept. 23. Anderson is also Denison's second-straight NCAC Newcomer of the Year after teammate Payton McElfresh garnered the honor in 2018.
Junior Emma Woerner continues Denison's list of all-conference debuts in 2019 as she was named to the All-NCAC second-team for the first time in her career. Working as a mainstay for the Big Red with 200 or more kills in each of the last three seasons, Woerner currently ranks top-four on the team with 212 kills, 201 digs, 52 service aces, and a .218 kill rate. Her 52 aces are tied for the second-most in program history with Dana Twomey (2004). A Novato, Calif. native, Woerner was also named the NCAC Player of the Week on Oct. 7 and her 0.70 service aces per set is the best in the conference.
Freshman Sophie Tight rounded out Denison's player awards on Friday as she was named an All-NCAC Honorable Mention selection. Leading the conference with 9.45 assists per set, Tight has paced the Big Red in 2019 with 756 assists and has added 215 digs, 19 service aces, and 23 blocks. She has recorded 30 or more assists in 15 matches this season, including a career-high 45 assists against Ohio Wesleyan on Oct. 8. A native of San Rafael, Calif., Tight is the first Denison setter to be named to the all-conference squad since Jenny Gresla was named to the second-team in 2006.
In addition to the player awards, Cassell was named the NCAC Coach of the Year for the first time in his career after leading the Big Red to their best regular-season finish since 2013 and a 6-2 mark in conference play. Cassell currently sports an all-time record of 43-36 at Denison and will open the 2019 NCAC Tournament as the No. 2 seed on Saturday, Nov. 9. The Big Red will play No. 7 Kenyon at 11 a.m. in the semifinals.