PITMAN, N.J. (11/3/17)- Senior Sara Ridgway has been tabbed the New Jersey Athletic Conference Player of the Year, while Head Coach Don Perkins earned the Joy Solomen Coach of the Year honors as the Kean University women's volleyball team had five All-NJAC selections. Ridgway is joined on the first team by junior Vikki Stec, while sophomore Jesse Larkin and senior Joelle Tondi were selected to the second team. Sophomore Brianna Calvano has been selected to the honorable mention.
Ridgway was named Player of the Year after a stellar final season in Union. This is her first selection on the All-NJAC first team after being named to the second team in 2016. The Barnegat, N.J. native totaled 364 kills, 127 total blocks, 116 block assists and 11 solo blocks in 36 matches. She currently is averaging 2.91 kills per set with a .391 hitting percentage and 1.02 blocks per set. She led the NJAC in hitting percentage and ranks second in blocks per set. Ridgway becomes just the fourth player in program history to earn the conference's top honor and the first since Jennifer Bronowich earned the accolade in 2001. During the season, she was named the NJAC Player of the Week.
Stec makes her second straight appearance on the All-NJAC first team as she posted 327 kills, 261 digs, 61 total blocks, 59 block assists and 25 aces in 35 matches. The Elmwood Park, N.J. native was named the NJAC and ECAC Player of the Week during the season.
Larkin makes her first appearance on the All-NJAC second team after earning Rookie of the Year honors and being named to the honorable mention team in 2016. She tallied 232 kills, 125 total blocks, 118 block assists and 31 aces in 34 matches. The Redwood City, Calif. native led the NJAC in blocks per set at 1.06 and ranked sixth in hitting percentage at .270.
Tondi makes her first overall appearance with a selection on the All-NJAC second team. She collected 238 digs, 170 kills, 42 total blocks and 34 aces in 29 matches. During the season, she was named the NJAC and ECAC Player of the Week.
Calvano also makes her first overall appearance on the All-Conference team with a selection to the honorable mention team. The Williamstown, N.J. native has totaled 959 assists, 153 digs and 27 aces in 34 matches.
Coach Perkins becomes just the second coach in program history to earn the NJAC's top coaching accolade and the first since Bridget White won it in 2001. Perkins guided the Cougars to 27 wins, made his sixth straight NJAC tournament appearance, captured his first regular season title, secured the top seed in the NJAC tournament and reached his first NJAC Title game.
In the other major awards, Sue Riley of Rutgers-Newark captured the Defensive Player of the Year, while Emily Sullivan from Stockton took home the Rookie of the Year.