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Tolliver Named America East Rookie of the Year; Schmidt Joins Her on All-Rookie Team
Dalton Tolliver was named America East Rookie of the Year
Cambridge, Mass. – Continuing a string of rookie honors at UMBC, freshman Dalton Tolliver (Ortonville, Mich./Notre Dame Prep) was named the America East Rookie of the Year, the conference announced on Thursday afternoon. In addition to being named the top rookie in the league, Tolliver was selected to the all-conference second team, the only freshman to earn a spot on either the first or second team.
In conference play this year, Tolliver hit .362, placing her second overall in the league. During the season Tolliver was named Rookie of the Week twice, and just a week ago was named Player of the Week after her performances against New Hampshire and Hartford.
Tolliver played a key role in the Retrievers’ four-match win streak which propelled them into this weekend’s America East Championships in Albany, N.Y. Over that stretch, the freshman notched double-digit kills in all four contests, including 18 kills on Sunday against Providence to lock up a spot in the conference tournament.
For the year, Tolliver was second on the team in kills (222), hitting percentage (.288), block assists (71) and total blocks (77).
Tolliver becomes the first UMBC freshman to earn Rookie of the Year since Naomi Bush won the award in 2009. In head coach Ian Blanchard's seven years at UMBC, a Retriever has won the award five of the last seven season.
Joining Tolliver on the America East All-Rookie team is local talent Hannah Schmidt (Catonsville, Md./Mount de Sales), which gives the Retrievers at least one player on the squad for the seventh consecutive season. A year ago Hallie Carter (Huntington Beach, Calif./Edison) and Ali Goc (Oshawa, Ontario, Canada/R.S. McLaughlin Collegiate) received the honor, while Ali Loynachan (Whitby, Ontario, Canada/Sinclair) was named in 2009 and setter Allie Spaay (Kenosha, Wis./Kenosha Tremper) was honored in 2008.
In 2011, Schmidt led UMBC in hitting finishing the regular season with a total of 229 kills and an average of 2.97 kills per set. During the season, Schmidt was named America East Rookie of the Week twice.
With the win against Providence, the Retrievers qualified for the America East Championships for the fourth consecutive year, where they will take on regular season champs Albany in a rematch of last year’s conference final. The contest is set to begin at 7 p.m. on Friday at Albany’s University Gymnasium.