Tribune-Star staff report
TERRE HAUTE —
Senior Anna Lewer capped one of the top careers in Rose-Hulman volleyball history with Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year honors, according to voting results released Wednesday by the league office.
Lewer was joined on the first-team all-HCAC squad by teammate Sarah Jensen, a freshman. The versatile Jensen also earned a spot on the league’s all-freshman team.
Honorable-mention all-conference honorees included Rose juniors Kate Dangel and Casey Levitt. Senior Erika McGuire claimed a spot on the league’s all-sportsmanship team in large part due to her pregame team Zumba routine that includes invitations for the opposition to participate.
Lewer becomes Rose-Hulman’s first conference Most Valuable Player honoree in the sport of volleyball. She also became the institute’s first volleyball player to capture first-team all-conference honors during every year of her college career.
Meanwhile, Jensen became just the fourth freshman in school history to earn all-conference honors.
Lewer led the Engineers with 386 kills, 3.42 kills per set and a .285 hitting percentage. She finished second on the team in digs (409), third in blocks (53) and added 22 service aces. She also capped one of the most decorated careers in Engineer volleyball history, finishing third all time with 1,263 kills, sixth with 1,504 digs and ninth with 202 blocks.
Jensen set a school record with five triple-doubles this season, in terms of kills, assists and digs. She led the team with 586 assists and contributed 233 kills, 48 service aces and 47 blocks as a full-rotation player.
Dangel was a three-time HCAC Defensive Player of the Week selection this season and led the Engineers with 478 digs. Her career total now includes 1,011 digs.
Levitt led Rose with 64 service aces, including nine in a conference win over Defiance. She also smashed 286 kills with 331 digs and 33 blocks. Her career totals now stand at 699 kills, 836 digs, 138 service aces and 89 blocks in three years with the team.
The Engineers finished 21-9 for their second consecutive season featuring 20 or more wins with single-digit losses. They also advanced to the semifinal round of the 2012 HCAC tournament.
• Engineers honored — Rose-Hulman placed five players on the all-Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference women’s team, including three first-team award winners and the league’s Freshman of the Year.
Goalkeeper Lucinda Combs led the award winners with HCAC Freshman of the Year and first-team all-conference honors.
Freshman Katie DeMoss and sophomore Nicky Wheeler also earned first-team all-conference recognition in the balloting by league coaches.
Second-team all-league honorees included freshman Hayley Gilliam and Mallory McDevitt.
In addition, junior Cassie Cox earned a spot on the league’s all-sportsmanship team for her efforts this season.
Combs set a single-season school record with eight individual shutouts and helped Rose shut out the opposition nine times in 19 matches this season. Her save percentage of .875 led the HCAC and Combs’ goals against average of 0.78 ranked third in the league.
DeMoss led the Engineers with eight goals and 19 points in her freshman season. She scored five game winning goals and scored her eight goals in just 18 shots on net. DeMoss also booted home a pair of penalty kicks this season.
Wheeler finished third on the Engineers in scoring with four goals and nine points. Her efforts included two game-winning goals, and the two-year starter increased her career scoring totals to six goals and three assists.
Gilliam tallied four goals and 11 points to place second on the team in scoring. Her efforts included 13 shots on goal and one game winning score.
McDevitt helped anchor the defensive effort in the midfield and recorded three assists in 19 matches. Her efforts helped Rose-Hulman’s team goals-against average rank third in the league at 0.76.
Rose finished 9-7-3 overall and 4-3-2 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action for the program’s first winning season since 2008.
• Martin honored — Rose-Hulman freshman Orion Martin was named the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin Men’s Swimmer of the Week for his efforts at Wabash and Illinois Wesleyan last weekend.
Martin won the 50-yard freestyle (21.72) and the 100-yard freestyle (47.19) during the Engineers’ 172-116 dual-meet victory against Wabash on Friday. He also served as the anchor leg for Rose’s two relay teams and helped secure only the second dual-meet victory over Wabash in school history.
Against Illinois Wesleyan, Martin won the 50 freestyle (22.26) and the 100 butterfly (50.63) to help lead the second victory in 24 hours. His time in the 100 butterfly broke the Illinois Wesleyan pool record.
Rose-Hulman competes in the CCIW in men’s and women’s swimming, with the remaining NCAA Division III-affiliated teams competing in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Rose returns to action with a dual meet at Franklin at 7 p.m. Friday.