Nov. 22, 2013
Taylor Akana was named to the MAAC First Team, Jacqueline Skeen to the Second and freshmen Haley Howell and Bobbi Lin Kalama earned recognition on the All-Rookie team Friday night. Akana was joined on the All-Academic Team by teammates Erin Bies, Nyah Bonilla, Kelly Byrne, Rachel Stoklosa and Meghann Wright.
The honors were announced at the Pre-Tournament Awards Ceremony in New Hall on Siena's campus.
Akana finished her standout career ranked second all-time at Siena with 1,700 kills and fourth with 1,370 digs. She was one of 30 national Senior CLASS Award candidates this season, and one of just two in the Northeast. She led MAAC in kills per set in conference matches (3.84). She was a MAAC First Team selection and ECAC All-Star in 2012, MAAC Offensive Player of the Year and MAAC First Team pick in 2011 and MAAC Rookie of the Year in 2010. Last year, she became the fastest player in conference history to reach both 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs - doing so in just 55 career matches played. For her career, she averaged 3.9 kills and 3.1 digs per set. As a freshman, she ranked 12th nationally in kills per set, and she led the MAAC in that category in each of her first three seasons. Her success on the court is matched only by her triumphs in the classroom. She carries a 3.76 GPA in marketing and recently repeated as a CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-District selection, distinguishing herself among the top student athletes in the Northeast.
Skeen was named to the MAAC Second Team after earning All-Tournament Team recognition last season. She ranked sixth in the MAAC in hitting percentage (.270) and third in conference matches (.312). All 11 of her double-figure kill matches came against conference teams, and she hit over .600 twice in a match. Skeen elevated her game against top teams, killing 11 of 21 swings without an error in the win at Fairfield, and 13 of 29 attacks in the home win over Iona. Despite standing just 5-7, Skeen was 4th in MAAC in blocks per set (1.17) in conference matches.
Howell was a six-time MAAC Rookie of the Week pick who stepped into the starting setter role from day one and played a huge role in team's success. In MAAC matches, she led the league with 11.17 kills per set, and she ranked in the top-five in aces per set. Howell had her top matches against premier competition in the MAAC. She had 50 or more assists four times, including 59 in the win over Iona. Two of her 50-assist matches came in four set matches.
Kalama stepped into the critical libero role, ranking fifth in the MAAC in digs per set (4.2) and fourth in digs per set in conference matches (4.57). Kalama had six matches with at least 20 digs and she had a streak of seven straight matches with match-high digs. She also managed 15 aces on the year, including three in a win at Quinnipiac. Kalama had a solid .955 reception percentage and registered double digit digs in 15 of Siena's last 18 matches.
Akana led the All-Academic selections with a 3.76 GPA in marketing. Stoklosa (3.21 - Mathematics Education) was named to the team for the second straight year, while Bies (3.53 - Social Work), Bonilla (3.27 - Environmental Studies), Byrne (3.32 - Psychology) and Wright (3.32 - Psychology) each made the team for the first time.
Siena finished the 2013 season with a 14-14 record, 13-5 in the MAAC. They tied for third place in the conference, but lost the tiebreaker, failing to qualify for the Championships for just the first time since 2004.