Nov. 22, 2007
Moraga, CA - Saint Mary's women's volleyball finished the West Coast Conference season with a 6-8 record, tying them for fifth in the conference. The team consisted of many new faces this season, as five freshmen joined the Gael's core group of returning players. Three of the newcomers were recognized by the WCC for their positive contributions to this year's team. Each played vital roles in the Gael's success, as the future continues to look bright for Saint Mary's volleyball.
Outside hitter Megan York, middle blocker Shannon Lowell, and setter Kapua Kamana'o were each named to the WCC All-Freshman team, while York was named WCC Co-Freshman on the Year, and a WCC First Team selection.
Megan York is the first freshman to earn WCC Co-Freshman of the Year in Saint Mary's volleyball history. The San Antonio native was also named to the WCC First Team and WCC All-Freshman team. York exploded on the collegiate volleyball scene in the Gael's opening week of the season. The outside hitter was named to the Arizona Wildcat Classic All-Tournament team, after posting 21 kills and 22 digs versus host school Arizona in her opening debut as a Gael. York continued her consistent play throughout the season, recording 18 double-doubles on the year, tying for first in the WCC.
York posted many impressive career-highs during her freshman campaign, posting 28 kills versus Pepperdine on October 20, 22 digs at CS Bakersfield on September 1, eight blocks versus Santa Clara on November 9, three aces at Arizona on August 25, and a .424 hitting percentage (17-of-33) versus Cornell on September 21. The freshman has recorded a team-high 442 kills, over a hundred more kills than any other Gael, while also tallying 342 digs, 78 total blocks, and 23 aces. York has taken 1328 total attacking attempts so far this season, posting a .200 hitting percentage.
The most notable accomplishment that York has achieved is the fact that she has not left the floor in any game this season. It is obvious through her offensive and defensive numbers that she is invaluable member of the Gael's roster.
Joining York in all-conference honors is freshman middle blocker, Shannon Lowell. Lowell came to Saint Mary's from San Jose, CA where she played for high school volleyball powerhouse Archbishop Mitty. The middle blocker made an exceptional transition from high school to collegiate volleyball, as she was an immediate starter in the Gael's lineup. The San Jose native showed great strength at the net throughout the season, totaling a tam-high 136 blocks on the year. As a freshman Lowell averaged 1.57 blocks per game, placing second in the WCC conference. Offensively the middle blocker was third on the team in kills, tallying 242 on the year thus far.
Lowell's best match this season came against Loyola Marymount on November 17 when she posted a career-high 16 kills, while also adding eight blocks and one ace. Lowell has participated in every game this season, fulfilling a key role at the middle blocker position.
Rounding out the freshman class accolades is freshman setter Kapua Kamana'o. Kamana'o came to Saint Mary's from Honolulu, HI, where she played for Iolani high school. Kamana'o found her rhythm during WCC play, as she guided the Gael's offence to wins over Santa Clara, San Francisco, and other conference schools. The freshman setter finished the WCC season ranked sixth in assists per game with an 11.16 average. Kamana'o displayed the skills of an all-around player as she has recorded 190 digs, 25 kills, and 20 aces on the season.
The setter's best match came against Pepperdine on October 20, as she led the Gaels in a five-game win over the Waves. Kamana'o posted 68 assists, seven digs, five blocks, one ace, and one kill. The freshman has posted eight double-doubles on the season (assists-digs), and dished out a career-high 76 assists against UCSB on September 13. The native of Hawaii has participated in 91-of-98 games this season, accumulating 953 total assists.
The 2007 WCC All-Freshman selections marks the fourth year of the honors existence, with a Gael making the list each year.