Nov. 29, 2007
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The MIT women's volleyball team capped off its incredible season with the announcement of the CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Women's Volleyball Team on Wednesday. Senior setter Amanda Morris became the first player in the program's history to be selected to the First Team while fellow classmate and libero Carrie Buchanan was voted to the Second Team. The awards are the 10th and 11th for the Engineers and their first since Kelly Martens was tabbed for the Second Team in 2002.
Morris' honor follows her recognition by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) as she was named to its All-America Third Team, marking MIT's first All-America recipient since 1984 and third in the program's history. She also collected Athlete of the Year honors from the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) and New England Women's Volleyball Association (NEWVA) to go along with First-Team plaudits from both organizations this year. Morris paced the NEWMAC in assists this season (1,385) and finished her career ranked third all-time at MIT (3,597). In 2006, she established a new Institute standard for assists in a season as she tallied 1,413. A three-time NEWMAC Academic All-Conference honoree, Morris will graduate with a degree in Biological Engineering.
Buchanan's Second-Team selection was the fourth for the program and it comes on the heels of her record-breaking season. On Sept. 22, she set the Institute mark for digs in a match with 51 versus Williams College at the MIT Invitational. Buchanan then capped the campaign by establishing the record for career digs, and became the first player to surpass the 2,000-dig mark as she amassed 2,037. She copped Second-Team accolades from the NEWMAC and NEWVA to go along with AVCA All-America Honorable Mention plaudits. Buchanan bolstered her awards total with her second NEWMAC Academic All-Conference selection as she will receive a Bachelor's of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering/Pre-Med this spring.
Fellow captain and classmate Rose Zhong represented MIT on the Academic All-District Women's Volleyball District I Team. This season, she set the Institute mark for aces in a match with 13 against WPI and ranked in the top 10 for digs (464) and digs per game (3.65). Zhong earned a pair of NEWMAC Academic All-Conference awards and will graduate with degrees in Economics, Civil Engineering, and Psychology.
District I, comprised of NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, and NAIA institutions from New England, New York, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Quebec, is the largest region in CoSIDA. A total of 86 nominees from the area were narrowed down to 20 for the All-District Team as decided by member sports information directors. Athletes voted to the First Team advanced to the national ballot with the CoSIDA national committee making the final selections.
MIT finished the 2007 campaign with a 36-3 ledger and its second consecutive appearance at the NCAA Division III Sweet 16. The Engineers won 30 consecutive matches, ranking second in the program's history as they tallied 41 straight wins during the 1983 season. The remarkable run by the Cardinal and Gray this year also included an unblemished month of October in which it posted three-game victories in every outing. Head coach Paul Dill was recognized by his peers for the second year in a row when he was named the AVCA New England Division III Coach of the Year and the NEWVA Coach of the Year.