FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WINTHROP, Mass. – Four Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) student-athletes have been lauded as 2018 CoSIDA Google Cloud Academic All-District honorees, as selected by and announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
The four selections were Johnson & Wales University junior Maria Coniglio, senior Katie Leidhold and junior Kate Walker as well as Norwich University senior Emily Oliver. In order to be nominated, student-athletes must have at least a 3.30 grade point average and play in 50 percent of the team's matches. They four are now eligible for Academic All-America, which will be announced in early December.
Named AVCA First-Team All-American and GNAC Tournament MVP, Coniglio is the fourth player in school history to earn a trio of First-Team All-GNAC honors. She has a 3.98 GPA in culinary nutrition. Named GNAC Player of the Week on September 17, the Old Bethpage, NY native averaged 2.96 kills, 2.64 digs and 3.4 points per set. That rate increased to 3.62 kills and 4.06 points against regionally ranked team. She notched 11 matches with 10 or more kills, including a season-high 20 against #1 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
Leidhold has a perfect 4.0 GPA in biology. In addition to her academic recognition, Leidhold is a two-time AVCA All-Region selection. She had another good all-around season, averaging 2.84 kills, 2.48 digs and 3.4 points. She upped that rate to 2.96 kills and 2.7 digs versus GNAC schools. The Acushnet, Mass. native had five double-doubles including 15 kills and 11 digs against Coast Guard to earn her GNAC Player of the Week.
With a 3.97 GPA in counseling psychology, this is Walker's second Academic All-District selection. Last year she went on to earn Third-Team Academic All-America honors. Named AVCA Third-Team All-America last week, she continues to be one of the top hitters in the country with a .407 hitting percentage that ranked fourth in the NCAA. The GNAC Player of the Week on September 24, she averaged 3.06 kills per set and 0.77 blocks per set. A native of Oakland, Calif., she had 12 double-digit kill matches with a career-high 18 versus No. 24 Bowdoin. Walker was named to the GNAC and NCAA Regional All-Tournament team.
Johnson & Wales season ended with a loss in the finals of the Providence Regional. The Wildcats completed the year with a 33-2 record and had a 60-game home court winning streak that was third-longest in NCAA Division III history.
Oliver, a Sagamore Hills, Ohio native, becomes just the second student-athlete in Norwich volleyball history to earn Academic All-District honors, joining Ivana Batur who took home the honor in 2011.
Majoring in Mechanical Engineering on a Pre-Med track, Oliver has maintained a near-perfect 3.92 GPA while playing three sports at Norwich. She served as team captain for the volleyball team this fall, is currently serving as a co-captain of the women's basketball team, and will return to the diamond this spring for her fourth season with Norwich softball.
After wrapping up her volleyball career this past fall, she wound up in the top ten in program history in career totals for service aces, digs, blocks, sets played, matches played, and assists. She broke the single-season assists and assists per set record this year with 754 and 7.94 respectively. She has the second, third, fourth, and fifth highest single-game assist total in program history and she finished in the top ten in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference for assists and assists per set.
Information Provided by JWU, Norwich Athletics Communications.
The Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) is an NCAA Division III association made up of 13 member institutions and over 3,000 student-athletes across the New England region. Founded in 1995, the GNAC annually sponsors and administers 20 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunity and community involvement in an effort to enhance the student-athlete experience.
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