WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University volleyball coaching staff, led by head coach Alesia Vaccari, has been named the 2018 University Athletic Association (UAA) Staff of the Year, as selected by the conference coaches. In addition, junior middle hitter Emma Bartlett of Duxbury, Massachusetts, was a second-team All-Association selection.
Vaccari, who is in her fifth season with the Judges, was honored alongside first-year assistant coaches Kayla Groman and Cailyn Straubel and student assistant Wyatt Emenaker '19. The Judges ended up with a 13-17 overall record, but finished the season strong, claiming fifth place at the UAA tournament last weekend at the University of Rochester. The Judges pushed top-seeded and eventual champion Emory in their quarterfinal match, 23-25, 14-25, 22-25. In the consolation semifinals, they defeated fifth-seeded Case Western Reserve in four sets, 12-25, 25-13, 25-20, 25-20. In the fifth-place match against sixth-seeded NYU, the Judges rallied from two sets down to defeat the Violets, 17-25, 18-25, 25-22, 25-21, 15-8.
The fifth-place finish at UAAs is Brandeis's highest since 2008, and it was the first time since 2010 that the team had won a match at the conference tournament. The Judges turned in a fine overall defensive performance in the three matches, leading all teams in opponent's hitting percentage (.151), while rookie Kaitlyn Oh of Santa Clara, California, topped all players in digs per set (5.92).
This is the first-ever UAA Coaching Staff of the Year award for Brandeis Volleyball. It's the third time that Vaccari has earned the honor in her career, first as an assistant at Clarkson in 2010 and again in her first season as the head coach at Simmons in 2012.
Bartlett picked up her first career All-UAA honor after leading the team in kills (2.74 kills per set), hitting percentage (.270) and blocks (0.85 blocks per set). Her 25 solo blocks were second-most in the UAA this season, while her 89 total blocks were sixth and her blocks-per-set average was eighth. Bartlett also finished 10th in total kills (288), 13th in hitting percentage and kills per set. She was twice named the UAA Player of the Week this season. Bartlett totaled 13 matches with double-digit kills, including a career-high 21 at defending NCAA Division III National Champion Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Sept. 1.
The Judges graduate eight seniors, but still return four of their top five hitters and both players who finished second on the team in assists and digs.
Bartlett is a 2016 graduate of Duxbury High School.
For more information on Brandeis Volleyball, please visit our website at http://www.brandeisjudges.com/sports/wvball/index