PISCATAWAY, NJ – The Rutgers volleyball team held its annual awards banquet on Sunday afternoon.
Senior setter Abbey Martin (Topeka, KS) was named the team’s Most Valuable Player. Martin lead the team with 11.39 assists per game, good for fifth in the BIG EAST Conference and she also finished third on the team with 28 service aces. On Sept. 18, she was named the most valuable player at the URI Invitational and a week later she earned all-tournament team honors at the Patriot Invitational. In just two seasons as a Scarlet Knight, Martin recorded 2,270 career assists which puts her in fourth place all-time. She also has the fifth and sixth best single-season marks with 1,154 and 1,116 assists, respectively.
Sophomore outside hitter Lora Yankauskas (Paramus, NJ) took home both the Best Offensive Player and Most Improved Player awards after a breakout season in 2004. Yankauskas ranked fifth in kills per game in the BIG EAST (3.86) and was sixth in points per game (4.86). Her 3.86 kills per game were the tenth best single-season mark in school history. On Nov. 8, she was named BIG EAST Player of the Week for her performances against Pittsburgh and West Virginia. She led the Scarlet Knights to victories against the Panthers and Mountaineers, averaging 4.75 kills and 1.38 blocks per game. Yankauskas concluded the season by earning All-BIG EAST honorable mention honors.
Senior right side Stephanie Travioli (Arlington, TX) was presented with the Coaches Award, given to the athlete that “best exemplifies the three D’s: dedication, discipline and desire.” Travioli ranked third on the team in kills per game with 2.76 and was fifth with 1.70 digs per game. On Sept. 25, she was named tournament MVP at the Patriot Invitational, averaging 3.17 kills per game during the three match stretch.
The Best Defensive Player Award was given to senior middle hitter Addie Thiry (Louisville, KY). Thiry has been one of the Scarlet Knights most dominant forces at the net as she led the team in block solos and blocks per game. Prior to this season, she ranked second on the team in all three block categories for the past two seasons. She concluded the season ranked fifth in the BIG EAST with 1.29 blocks per game, including an 11 block-assist performance against Pittsburgh. Thiry finished her career ranked seventh all-time with 294 total blocks, sixth in block assists with 240 and tied for ninth with 54 career block solos.
Junior Ashleigh Young (Albany, OR) was named the Ace Club Award winner for 2004. The award recognizes the player who has been a service to their teammates and friends, as well as the community. Young embodied that all-around quality both on and off the court, as she ranked among BIG EAST leaders in three statistical categories. She ranked fourth with a .321 hitting percentage, ninth in service aces with 29 and was 10th in blocks per game with 1.11. Young is currently in ninth place on the Rutgers record books with 208 career block assists and tenth with 240 total blocks. In addition, she set the third best single-season mark with 111 block assists and the fourth best mark for total blocks with 133 in 2003. Off the court, she has been a service to her community, working to help those around her.
Sophomore Tamarie Macon (Fayetteville, NC) was given the Scholar Athlete Award, an award presented to the individual with the highest grade point average on the team. Macon played in 11 matches for the Scarlet Knights, averaging 3.20 assists per game to rank second on the team.
Rutgers concluded the 2004 season with a 16-10 overall record and a 4-6 mark in conference action. Highlights of the Scarlet Knights’ season included a nine-match road winning streak, an upset victory over the first-place Pittsburgh Panthers and head coach Ann Leonard-House’s 350th career victory.
MVP – Abbey Martin
Best Offensive Player – Lora Yankauskas
Most Improved Player – Lora Yankauskas
Best Defensive Player – Addie Thiry
Coaches Award – Stephanie Travioli
Ace Club Award – Ashleigh Young
Scholar Athlete Award – Tamarie Macon