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Courtesy: CAA/Brendan Cavanaugh
CAA POTY Kelly Bacon with CAA Assistant Commissioner Steve Kanaby

Northeasternís Kelly Bacon Headlines 2012 All-CAA Volleyball Team

Courtesy: CAA
          Release: 11/15/2012
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TOWSON, Md. (November 15, 2012) - Northeastern junior outside hitter Kelly Bacon has been named the 2012 CAA Volleyball Player of the Year in a vote by the league's head coaches. Bacon was presented the award at the annual awards banquet on the eve of the CAA Volleyball Championship in Towson, Md.

Also earning top honors was Towson senior setter Aubrey Kirven, who was named the CAA Setter of the Year, and Delaware freshman libero Ariel Shonk, who earned CAA Defensive Specialist of the Year. CAA Rookie of the Year honors went to William & Mary freshman outside hitter Dessi Koleva, while Towson's Bruce Atkinson was named CAA Coach of the Year for the second straight season.

Bacon becomes the third Northeastern player to be honored as CAA Player of the Year after a sensational junior campaign for the Huskies. The versatile outside hitter was the main component in the Huskies' offense after leading the team with 326 kills (3.58 k/s) while playing in all 91 sets this season. Bacon also played a key role in the Northeastern defense that held opponents to a league-low .169 hitting percentage. The Temecula, Calif. native ranks second on the team with 247 digs (2.71 d/s) while adding 37 blocks. Bacon will look to lead the Huskies to their first CAA championship and their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2001.

Kirven earned Setter of the Year honors after averaging an astounding 12.60 assists per set while helping the Tigers to a conference-best .284 hitting percentage. The Uniontown, Ohio native leads the CAA with 1,197 total assists while ranking second in the NCAA in assist per set.  The senior setter is one of only five players in the country to average over 12 assists per set. Kirven also ranks third on the team with 216 digs while adding 53 kills and 19 aces.

Shonk made an immediate impact on the Delaware back line in her first collegiate season. She is the third Blue Hen to be named Defensive Specialist of the Year and is the second consecutive freshman to win the award. The Atlanta, Ga. native leads the CAA with 571 digs this season (5.71 d/s) and has helped hold opponents to a .188 hitting percentage. Shonk will look to lead Delaware to its third straight CAA title, and fifth in six seasons.

Koleva becomes the fourth Rookie of the Year selection from William & Mary, but its first since 2005. The Torrance, Calif. native helped lead the Tribe to its first berth in the CAA Championship since 2009. Koleva ranks second on the team with 199 kills this season (2.29 k/s) while adding 22 assists and 10 aces. She also has made an impact on defense with 213 digs (2.45 d/s) and 43 blocks. Koleva will look to lead the Tribe to their first CAA Championship since 2001.

Atkinson earns his second consecutive Coach of the Year honor in only his third year at Towson. Atkinson's squad finished with a perfect 12-0 record in CAA play and a 25-3 overall mark. Towson is currently riding an 18-match winning streak, the longest of Atkinson's tenure at Towson. The Tigers lead the CAA in hitting percentage (.284), assists (1,355), and kills (1,452). Towson also ranks third nationally in kills per game (14.82) and fifth in assists per game (13.83). Atkinson will be seeking his first trip to the NCAA Championship as a coach and the first trip for Towson since 2004.

Towson and Northeastern led the way with two players each named to the All-CAA First Team. Joining Bacon on the team from Northeastern was senior middle hitter Nicole Bishop (2.13 k/s, .90 blocks per set). Along with Kirven, Towson junior outside hitter Katy Buck (3.46 k/s, 2.36 d/s) made the first team for the second year in a row. Rounding out the squad was Delaware senior outside hitter Alissa Alker (3.01 k/s, 3.27 d/s) and Hofstra sophomore outside hitter Kelsie Wills (4.42 k/s, 2.14 d/s).


Selected by CAA Volleyball Coaches


Player, School Cl. Pos. Hometown/Previous School
Alissa Alker, Delaware Sr. OH San Diego, Calif./Scripps Ranch
Kelly Bacon, Northeastern Jr. OH Temecula, Calif./Temecula Valley
Nicole Bishop, Northeastern Sr. MH Park City, Utah/Park City
Katy Buck, Towson Jr. OH Catonsville, Md./Mount de Sales Academy
Aubrey Kirven, Towson Sr. S Uniontown, Ohio/Lake/Loyola Univ.
Kelsie Wills, Hofstra So. OH Matamata, New Zealand/Matamata College


Player, School Cl. Pos. Hometown/Previous School
Catalina Charry, Hofstra Sr. S Santiago de Cali, Colombia/Salt Lake CC
Danielle Erb, James Madison Sr. OH Tampa, Fla./Plant
I'ishah Keliikoa, Towson Jr. RS/OP Mililani, Hawaii/I'olani
Dessi Koleva, William & Mary Fr. OH Torrance, Calif./South
Christi Laite, UNCW Jr. RS Severna Park, Md./Severna Park
Chelsea Lawrence, Delaware Sr. MH Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township
Lana Zonjic, George Mason Jr. OH Zagreb, Croatia/II Gimnazjia Zagreb


Player, School Cl. Pos. Hometown/Previous School
Natalie Abel, James Madison Sr. OH Washington, Pa./Trinity
Jillian Briner, Northeastern So. S/OH Oak Park, Ill./Oak Park & River Forest
Marta Machos, Towson Sr. OP Tomaszow, Lubelski, Poland/Midland College
Shaylin O'Connell, William & Mary Sr. MH Leesburg, Va./Loudoun County
Ariel Shonk, Delaware Fr. DS/L Atlanta, Ga./Riverwood Int'l Charter
Natalia Skiba, Northeastern So. L/OH Westmont, Ill./Hinsdale Central


Player, School Cl. Pos. Hometown/Previous School
Dessi Koleva, William & Mary Fr. OH Torrance, Calif./South
Meghan Niski, James Madison Fr. OH St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East
Mackenzie Olsen, Delaware Fr. S Villa Park, Calif./Villa Park
Lola Owokoniran, George Mason Fr. MB Raleigh, N.C./Wakefield
Ariel Shonk, Delaware Fr. DS/L Atlanta, Ga./Riverwood Int'l Charter
Eliza Zachary, Georgia State Fr. MB Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson


2012 CAA Player of the Year: Kelly Bacon, Northeastern

2012 CAA Setter of the Year: Aubrey Kirven, Towson

2012 CAA Defensive Specialist of the Year: Ariel Shonk, Delaware

2012 CAA Rookie of the Year: Dessi Koleva, William & Mary

2012 CAA Coach of the Year: Bruce Atkinson, Towson