Home»UAlbany Sports»Stroilo Defensive Specialist of the Year, Dolan Rookie of the Year as UAlbany Represented Well in Conference Yearly Awards

Stroilo Defensive Specialist of the Year, Dolan Rookie of the Year as UAlbany Represented Well in Conference Yearly Awards

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Stroilo Defensive Specialist of the Year, Dolan Rookie of the Year as UAlbany Represented Well in Conference Yearly Awards

Photo Gallery | America East Release

DURHAM, N.H. – As UAlbany prepares for the conference tournament, the America East released its yearly awards at the league banquet on Thursday.

Viktoriia Stroilo was selected as the America East Defensive Specialist of the Year for the second season in a row, while middle blocker Amanda Dolan earned the league’s Rookie of the Year honor.

In addition to the major award honors, Stroilo was named to the America East All-Conference Second Team and the conference All-Academic Team.  Dolan also was placed on the All-Conference Second Team, the only freshman in the league to earn all-conference honors, plus was named to the All-Rookie Team.

Samantha Brostrom was the lone UAlbany representative on the America East First Team.  Also, Mikala McCauley earned a placement on the All-Rookie Team.

Stroilo being named Defensive Specialist of the Year is the sixth season in a row that a Great Dane has earned the honor.  This season, the junior libero led the conference in digs per set with 4.85 per game to stand in the top-50 in all of Division I.  In conference play, she leads all players with 5.41 digs per set and 276 digs. In all matches this year she has totaled 344 digs and 20 service aces.  She also earned a spot on the All-Academic Team, holding a 3.77 GPA as a biology major.

Engstrom on Stroilo: “She bettered her digs per set this year in conference play despite coming off a severe injury that kept her sidelined and out of practice for most of pre-conference play. She’s our best passer and the anchor of our defense.  Replacing our four time DS of the Year, Laurie Gonzalez, was a tough task.  Vik comes into practice ready to work hard every – she’s a perfectionist. And that shows in her academic work as well.  She’s already begun work on her Masters and will graduate next year with both a BS and MS in Biology.”

Dolan is the first UAlbany player to be named America East Rookie of the Year since Amanda Cowdrey in 2007.  The middle blocker is hitting .271, the only freshman in the top-20 in the America East in that category and the best on UAlbany, sporting a team-best 186 kills and 89 blocks.  She stands in the top-three in hitting percentage (.317) and blocks (56) in conference-only matches.

Engstrom on Dolan: “Amanda has been our most consistent player the whole season. She’s not spectacular, but just quietly goes about doing her job blocking and hitting.  Nothing seems to phase Amanda. She’s mature for her age (she’s still 17) and has a calm and confident demeanor that helps her teammates on the court.”

After recovering from offseason surgery, Brostrom earned her first-ever all-conference team selection after earning 3.16 kills per set in conference play.  She stands with 183 kills, 217 digs and 14 service aces.  In America East competition, the junior outside hitter has seven double doubles and is in the top-11 in kills and digs per set.

Engstrom on Brostrom: “Despite having to sit out almost all of our pre-conference play due to ankle surgery, Sam Brostrom has had her best year as a Great Dane. She’s a six rotation player that has been effective in both the front and back court and has help lead this young team by her dedication.”

McCauley is the first UAlbany freshman setter named to the All-Rookie Team since current assistant coach Brooke Stanley was All-Rookie in 2007.  She stands in the top-16 in the conference in three categories with 612 assists, 231 digs and 20 service aces.  She earned 10 double doubles, including nine in conference play, and was third in America matches with 10.35 assists per set.

Engstrom on McCauley: “Mikala took over the setting role just before we began conference play.  Despite our tough opponents, Mikala did a good job while playing out of position. Since taking over the reins of the offense she ranks third in conference in assists – a feat few freshmen have been able to accomplish in the past. She’s also one of the best defensive setters I’ve coached.”

New Hampshire won a pair of major awards.  Senior right side hitter Morgan Thatcher was named the America East Player of the Year, while the Wildcats coaches were named the coaching staff of the year.  UMBC’s Mallory McIntyre was chosen as the league’s setter of the year.

UAlbany will get ready for its semifinal match against UMBC on Friday at 4 p.m. at the Lundholm Gymnasium in Durham, New Hampshire.

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