WESTWOOD, Mass. - After an outstanding New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) volleyball season, the league announced the 2018 Volleyball All-Conference and Postseason awards on Tuesday. Clark University senior captain, Ana Patricia Mercado (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) earned a spot on the NEWMAC All-Conference Second Team this season.
Mercado finished the season ranked second in the NEWMAC in kills with 364 and kills per set with 3.83. She was named the NEWMAC Offensive Athlete of the Week in week one of the season. Mercado wraps up her career with 1,303 kills which is the second highest in program history. She also beat her own personal record for kills in a season that she set as a sophomore (346) and ranks fourth in program history for kills in a season with her new personal record of 364. She also now ranks in the top 10 for career service aces with 123.
MIT outside hitter Abby Bertics was named the NEWMAC Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive season. Earning All-Conference accolades for the third time in her career, Bertics led the conference in kills per set (4.97), kills (437), and ranked fifth in hitting percentage (.304), amassing 20 kills or more in a match eight times this season. Babson defensive specialist Abby Beecher was selected as the NEWMAC Defensive Athlete of the Year. The senior finished first in the league in digs per set (4.40), second in digs (462) and tallied 20 digs or more in six matches this year.
Springfield setter Sara Labardoft was tabbed the NEWMAC Rookie of the Year, after racking up 983 assists this season and 9.63 assists per set, which ranks third in the conference. Exceeding 45 assists in seven matches this season, the rookie is also tied for fifth in service aces with 49. For the third time in her career, Springfield Head Coach Moira Long was named the NEWMAC Coach of the Year, after leading the Pride to a 9-1 league record, to the top seed in the NEWMAC tournament and to earning an at-large bid in the upcoming NCAA tournament.
The NEWMAC Volleyball All-Conference Team consists of a first and second team that consists of seven selections which are voted on by the volleyball coaches from the conference.
Full Release: NEWMAC Announces 2018 Volleyball Postseason Awards