Koval Named MAAC Setter of the Year, Riede Earns First Team
FAIRFIELD, CT – Rider University volleyball junior setter Veronica Koval (Allentown, PA/Parkland) and sophomore right side hitter Hailey Riede(Haworth, NJ/Northern Valley-Demarest) have each been named All-MAAC, with Koval earning Setter of the Year honors, the league office announced at its annual pre-tournament banquet and awards show. Riede, the 2015 MAAC Rookie of the Year, earned first-team honors, becoming Rider’s first-ever All-MAAC First Team selection, while Koval took second-team recognition.
In addition, Riede, Ryan Ackermann (Ashburn, VA/Stone Bridge), Emma Aldaya (Prospect Park, PA/Merion Mercy Academy), Jennifer Borio (Ridley Park, PA/Padua Academy), Savannah Logan (Jupiter, FL/Benjamin) and Perry Williams (Portland, OR/Cleveland) were named to the MAAC All-Academic Team. To be eligible for the MAAC All-Academic Team, a student-athlete must complete two semesters at their institution and hold a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 on a 4.0 scale.
With Koval’s selection as Setter of the Year, the Broncs have now had a major award winner in three of the past four years (2015 Rookie of the Year Hailey Riede; 2013 Rookie of the Year Kaitlyn Griffin). The junior setter ranks fourth in the MAAC in assists per set (8.93), while her 48 service aces and 0.46 service aces per set lead the league. In starting all 29 matches she’s played, Koval has piled up 928 assists this year.
“From day one since (Koval) arrived here at Rider University, she’s always been hard worker and a blue-collar type kid,” said Rider Head Coach Christopher Feliciano. “You can see her resolve. You can see her focus. And that all starts from her upbringing, from her mother and father, two tremendous people that have helped keep her balanced and keep her focused. And I know her father would be very proud of her today. And I know that I’m very proud of her. You talk about special players and special kids. She’s one of the only athletes amongst a few that have come in and not fought me on training. She has always asked questions, watched film, been engaged. She’s a fighter and a true leader of our program. I couldn’t be more proud of her for accomplishing this great feat.”
Riede is currently fourth in the MAAC in hitting percentage at .315. She’s totaled 276 kills, good for 2.71 kills per set, seeing action in all 30 matches the Broncs have played this year. She’s also accumulated 47 blocks and team highs in points (300.5) and points per set (2.95).
“We’re really proud of Hailey and all that she’s accomplished in her first two years here at Rider University,” said Feliciano. “This year, she was committed to being more focused and disciplined in practice and the results have shown. She’ll be the first to tell you that she needs to work on little things and she’s getting better. She’s met us halfway in terms of discipline and focus and the results have been tremendous. I’m really proud of her and, to be quite honest, I think we haven’t seen the best of her yet. As a sophomore, to make first-team all-conference, the first time we’ve had a first-team all-conference player in our MAAC history is pretty cool.”
The fourth-seeded Broncs open MAAC Championship play Friday night at 8 p.m. against Siena. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN3.
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