LEXINGTON, Ky. - For the first time in program history, the Endicott women's volleyball team placed multiple women on the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-America lists as Zoey Gifford (Natick, Mass.) and Emma Mancini (Lynnfield, Mass.) received Honorable Mention nods on Tuesday. The honors represent the fourth and fifth honors the program has ever received, as Gifford joins Mancini and Tori McIntyre '17 as the only All-American honorees in program history.
The dynamic duo helped the Gulls reach the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) championship match for the third straight season in 2018. Throughout the year, both reached personal milestones while leading the team to wins over four regionally ranked opponents, including a 3-1 win over Wesleyan (Conn.), a team that is headed to the national quarterfinals.
Gifford, the CCC Player of the Year and All-CCC First Team member, set the Endicott women's volleyball record for assists per set in a single season with 10.64 on the year, besting Meghan Hall's '08 previous record of 10.53 set back in 2007. A junior, Gifford finished the season with 1,107 assists, 282 digs and 30 total blocks, all which were career-best marks. The Natick, Mass. native produced 16 double-doubles in 2018, also a career-best mark. She surpassed the 50 assist plateau twice during the season, both times finishing with 51. The first came in the team's 3-1 win over Skidmore, good for fourth all-time in a four set match, before posting 51 in the team's 3-2 setback to Coast Guard. This is the first AVCA All-America Honorable Mention of Gifford's career.
Mancini, an All-CCC First Team member as well, surpassed multiple career milestones in 2018. The outside's points per set average of 4.4 in 2018 were second only to her 4.68 that she averaged as a junior in 2017, while her kill total of 346 was also the second-best mark of her career. The Lynnfield, Mass. native finished her career with 1,130 kills, good for sixth on the all-time Endicott career kills list. Her 26 kills against Amherst in the team's 3-1 win on Sept. 29 was tied for the fourth-highest single match performance, as she now owns the top four spots (29 vs. Tufts 10/14/17, 28 vs. Coast Guard 10/25/17, 27 vs. Plymouth St. 10/7/17). This is the second AVCA All-America Honorable Mention of Mancini's career.
Endicott finished the season with an overall record of 18-11 after falling 3-2 in the CCC Semifinals.
(Photo Credit - David Le '10)