Nov. 13, 2012
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Ariana Mankus and Mary Vaccaro complemented their Patriot League Player and Setter of the Year awards, respectively, with first team All-Patriot League honors on Tuesday afternoon. Army tied regular-season champion Colgate with the most conference all-stars as juniors Margaux Jarka and D.J. Phee garnered second team laurels.
Mankus becomes the third player in Patriot League history to be named Player of the Year multiple times after winning the title in 2009 as well. She is the first Army player to repeat and remains the sixth player in program history to garner the prestigious award. Mankus has landed first team all-league honors three times.
The Lisle, Ill., native tops the Patriot League in kills (3.62 per set). Sitting on 1,545 kills heading into this weekend's tournament, she ranks sixth on the Patriot League's all-time kills list and second in Army annals in the same category. Mankus has authored 14 double-doubles (kills, digs) this season and is a three-time Molten Patriot League Player of the Week. Mankus has started all 28 matches this season and has reached the 20-kill plateau five times
Mankus' defense is equally as impressive. With 1,418 career digs, she currently ranks eighth in Patriot League history and second all-time at Army. She is 49 digs shy of breaking the Black Knights' career mark. A team co-captain, Mankus is one of three players in Army history to reach the century mark in both kills and digs.
Just days removed from being named to the Capital One Academic All-District First Team, Vaccaro has authored 13 double-doubles this season, 12 of which came via the assists and digs column. The other came in a near triple-double as she recorded a career-high 11 kills to go with 34 assists and seven digs in a "Star Match" win over rival Navy.
A native of Orinda, Calif., Vaccaro's 9.41 assists per set rank second in the Patriot League. She has emerged as an attacking threat as well this season, accumulating a career-high 80 kills. Vaccaro has reached the 40-assist mark nine times this season and amassed 938 on the year.
Vaccaro has garnered first team All-Patriot League plaudits, along with Setter of the Year honors, in both 2011 and 2012.
Jarka and Phee find themselves on the All-Patriot League teams for the first time in their respective careers. Both have enjoyed breakout seasons and have triggered much of the team's success both offensively and defensively this season.
A year after earning a spot on the 2011 Patriot League All-Tournament Team, Jarka's 2.81 kills per set this year rank sixth amongst the Patriot League's top hitters. She carries a six-match double-digit kill streak into this weekend's tournament and has recorded double-digit kills 16 times this season. A Rolling Prairie, Ind., native, Jarka has recorded eight double-doubles (kills, digs) and is averaging 2.38 digs per set.
Representing Army on a national scale, Phee currently leads the league and ranks 15th in the NCAA averaging 5.63 digs per set. She recently broke the Black Knights' single-season record for digs with 557 entering the weekend. The Allen, Texas, native has recorded double-digit digs in all 28 matches this season, including a career-high 30 in a 3-1 win at Lafayette last Friday night. Phee also leads the team with 24 service aces on the season.
The Black Knights will make their conference record 14th-straight Patriot League Tournament appearance this weekend. Third-seeded Army will face defending champion American in Saturday's second semifinal match at 6 p.m. The winner will face either No. 1 Colgate or No. 4 Lehigh in Sunday's championship match at 3 p.m. The tournament will be played at Colgate's Cotterell Court. Please visit www.patriotleague.com for more information.
2012 All-Patriot League Teams
Morgan Hendrix, American, Jr., Opp./MB
Sara Rishell, American, So., OH/MB
Ariana Mankus, Army, Sr., OH
Mary Vaccaro, Army, So., S
Lindsay Young, Colgate, Jr., OH
Taylor Poole, Lehigh, Sr., MB
Erin Fortner, Navy, Jr., OH
Margaux Jarka, Army, Jr., OH
D.J. Phee, Army, Jr., L
Caitlin Cremin, Colgate, Jr., L
Kaylee Fifer, Colgate, Jr., S
Diane Seely, Colgate, So., MB
Rachel Charles, Lehigh, Jr., L
Alex Karika, Navy, Fr., S
Player of the Year – Ariana Mankus, Army, Sr., OH
Setter of the Year – Mary Vaccaro, Army, So., S
Libero of the Year – Rachel Charles, Lehigh, Jr., L
Rookie of the Year – Alex Karika, Navy, Fr., S
Coach of the Year – Ryan Baker, Colgate