WELLESLEY, Mass. – MIT women's volleyball senior Katie Spielbauer (Lakeview, Mich.) became the first libero in the history of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) to be selected Athlete of the Year as announced by the league on Tuesday. Junior middle hitter Kristine Bunker (Falmouth, Mass.) joined Spielbauer on the all-conference first team while senior setter Alyssa Rothman (Plainview, N.Y.) and freshman middle hitter Ada Taylor (Durham, N.C.) secured spots on the second team.
A two-time first team all-conference honoree, Spielbauer leads the NEWMAC in digs (647) and digs per set (5.26) while ranking second in aces (64) and third in aces per set (0.52). She currently stands second in the MIT recordbook for career digs with 1,966 and is seventh in career aces with 185. Bunker, the 2012 NEWMAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player, earned her first award from the conference after ranking 13th in the nation in hitting percentage (.371) and fourth in the NEWMAC in blocks (84).
Rothman received her second nod from the league as she was a second-team all-conference pick during her rookie campaign. The NEWMAC leader in assists per set (9.96), she helped the Engineers pace the conference in kills and kills per set while standing second in hitting percentage. The first MIT rookie to collect NEWMAC accolades since 2008, Taylor is currently third in the country in hitting percentage (.432) and is tied for first in the conference standings for blocks (105).