UNH Volleyball holds annual awards banquet

DURHAM, N.H. -- The University of New Hampshire women's volleyball team held its annual team awards banquet Saturday night in the Squamscott Room of Holloway Commons on the UNH campus, which was held in conjunction with the Wildcat spring tournament at Lundholm Gymnasium.

Senior outside hitter Alyson Coler (Monte Sereno, Calif.) was named Most Valuable Player of the 2003 team, as she was the first player in school history to garner All-America Honorable mention honors. Coler, the first player in America East history to earn Player of the Year honors twice in her career, is the second player in school history to be named to the AVCA All-Northeast Region Team. Coler posted 554 kills and 386 digs in her senior season, guiding the Wildcats to their second straight America East regular-season and tournament titles. Coler leaves UNH with the following all-time career records: kills (1,814), attack attempts (4,726) and digs (1,231), as well as the single-season record for kills (564 in 2002) and attack attempts (1,508 in 2003). She also set the program's single-match record with 38 kills and 81 attack attempts on Oct. 8, 2002 at Northeastern.

Junior middle hitter Natasha Otte (Plymouth, N.H.) and sophomore outside hitter Erin Walker (Fulton, N.Y.) were named co-captains by their teammates for the upcoming 2004 season. Otte amassed 321 kills in her junior year, which ranked third on the Wildcats' roster and her 102 total blocks were second best. Walker, an America East All-Conference selection, posted 431 kills in her second year as a Wildcat and her 210 digs ranked fourth on the team.

Junior defensive specialist Jen Williams (Mountain View, Calif.) was the recipient of the Ed Jentes Coaches Award, going to the Wildcat who makes the extra commitment and effort to the program. Williams tallied 371 digs this past season, which was second only to teammate Sasha Scott (North Branford, Conn.) and will take over for Scott as the team's starting libero next season.

Senior middle hitter Lyndsey Stults (Fort Wayne, Ind.) earned the Judy Ray Academic Excellence Award for the third straight season. The award goes to the UNH player who excels in the classroom with the highest GPA.

Paula Davis, mother of senior co-captain Anne Davis (Groveland, Ill.), was presented with the Karl VanAsselt Assist Award going to the person who assists UNH volleyball in achieving the program's goals.

The UNH volleyball program also honored the 2003 six-member graduating senior class, which leaves UNH with a 87-43 record in four seasons. Coler, Davis, middle hitter Chelsea Hammer (Eden Prarie, Minn.), Erin Ludwig (Franklin Lakes, N.J.), Scott and Stults were on hand to receive their 2003 America East Championship rings with the underclassmen.

The Wildcats finished the 2003 season with a 23-12 season (12-2 America East), winning the America East regular-season and tournament title for the second straight season. The Wildcats played No. 1 ranked Southern California in their third appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

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