MEDFORD – The awards just keep coming in for junior Heather Holz. The middle blocker was named an American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-Northeast honorable mention selection.
Holz also earned New England Volleyball Coaches Association All-New England Second Team honors, in addition to being named to the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Second Team earlier this week.
The Palatine, Ill. native was named to the AVCA All-Northeast Region team last year, and went on to earn All-American Honorable Mention honors. She is the only Jumbos recognized this year, and one of 12 NESCAC players to be named to the All-Northeast or Honorable Mention teams. Wesleyan had four players make either team, while Bowdoin had three selections. Middlebury, Williams and Colby all had one player on either of the teams.
Holz helped the Jumbos offensively this year, playing in 88 of 98 total sets and in 25 of the Jumbos 26 matches this season. She turned in 1.49 kills per set with a .295 hitting percentage, and added 0.50 digs per set. She was second on the team in total blocks with 60, 12 solo and 48 block assists, and averaged 0.68 blocks per set. Additionally, she was a vital part of the Jumbos serving efforts, helping with 24 service aces.
The junior turned in double-digit kill numbers three times this year, including a season-high 12 against No. 2 nationally-ranked Johnson and Wales. In all but six games this year she was able to add at least one block, and finished with a season-high eight, three of those solo, in the Jumbos 3-2 setback to Bowdoin in the NESCAC semifinals.
The Jumbos finished the season with a 16-10 record and a 6-4 mark in conference play. Earning the fifth-seed in the NESCAC Tournament, they beat fourth-seeded Middlebury, 3-0, in quarterfinal play. The win over the Panthers was the first over Middlebury in conference tournament history for the Jumbos. Advancing to the semifinals, the Jumbos were ahead, 2-1, on top-seeded Bowdoin. But, they weren’t able to hold off a Polar Bear comeback and fell in five sets.