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Endicott Places Program-Record Five on AVCA All-Region Teams

Split image of Zoey Gifford and Mackenzie Kennedy who were named AVCA All-Region First Team.



BEVERLY, Mass. - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced the 2019 DIII All-Region Teams on Wednesday and Endicott saw a program-record five student-athletes earn All-Region honors. Leading the way were Zoey Gifford (Natick, Mass.) and Mackenzie Kennedy (Andover, Mass.), who were named AVCA All-Region, while Colleen McAvoy (Coventry, Conn.)Remi Quesnelle (Sunderland, Mass.), and Nicole Winkler (Southborough, Mass.) all garnered Honorable Mention nods.

The five AVCA All-Region honors break a program record of four that was set just last season. The All-Region members helped to lead the Gulls to a 23-7 record to date, which includes leading Endicott to the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) title this past weekend. Included in the 23 wins on the season was Endicott's win over Christopher Newport, who was ranked No. 14 nationally at the time, setting a program record for the highest-ranked win in program history. Other key wins throughout the regular season were against MIT (3-2), Emerson (3-1), SUNY Geneseo (3-0) and Amherst (3-2), all of which were regionally ranked in 2019.


With her All-Region nod, Gifford becomes the first student-athlete in program history to earn three AVCA All-Region honors. Gifford's second straight All-Region honor comes during a season in which she was named CCC Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, and during a year in which she climbed up the Endicott women's volleyball career record books, currently sitting in third all-time for career assists with 3,511. For the season, the senior averaged 9.79 assists/set, 2.91 digs/set, .56 kills/set and .32 aces/set overall. Against regionally and nationally-ranked opponents, Gifford averaged 9.26 assists/set, 2.91 digs/set, 0.53 kills/set and .26 aces/set. The setter eclipsed the 50 assist plateau twice against ranked opponents. The first effort came in the team's 3-1 setback to then No. 20 Mary Hardin-Baylor with her 52 assist and 17 digs, while the second came during the team's 3-1 win over Emerson, in which she posted 53 assists and 15 digs.


After a 2018 season in which she was named AVCA All-Region Honorable Mention during her junior season, Kennedy improved as a senior, earning AVCA All-Region honors. In doing so, she became the first libero in program history to earn the All-Region distinction, during the same season in which she became the first two-time CCC Libero of the Year in program history. Overall on the season, Kennedy averaged 5.51 digs/set and .62 assists/set while committing just 20 receive errors on 494 attempts, for a .960 receive percentage. The 5.51 digs/set are second all-time in single-season program history. Against nationally and regionally ranked opponents, Kennedy was just as stellar, averaging 5.43 digs/set and .74 assists/set while committing only nine receive errors on 262 attempts, for a .966 average. In the team's 3-0 sweep of then No. 14 Christopher Newport, the Andover, Mass. native posted 25 digs, averaging 8.33/set, while she finished with 27 in the team's 3-1 setback to No. 20 Mary Hardin-Baylor.


One season after being named the first AVCA Region Rookie of the Year in program history, McAvoy was named AVCA All-Region Honorable Mention for the second time in her young career. For the season, McAvoy hit .326, while averaging a career-best 2.45 kills/set and 3.2 points/set. The middle also averaged .76 blocks/set and .37 aces/set in 2019. Against regionally and nationally-ranked opponents, McAvoy hit .292 while averaging 2.28 kills/set, .64 blocks/set, .24 aces/set and 2.89 points/set. In Endicott's 3-2 win over Amherst, McAvoy posted a season-high 17 kills while .519 to go with five blocks.


After garnering All-CCC First Team honors for 2019, the senior received AVCA All-Region Honorable Mention honors for the first time in her collegiate career. Against 12 regionally and nationally-ranked opponents, Quesnelle averaged 2.68 kills/set while hitting .165. Quesnelle was Endicott's best server in these 12 matches, averaging .48 aces/set, while also picking up 1.70 digs/set. Quesnelle's best match came against then No. 20 Mary Hardin-Baylor, when she exploded for a career-high 21 kills on 51 attempts with just three errors, hitting .353 in the 3-1 setback, while also chipping in two aces and five digs. In the team's 3-2 win over MIT, Quesnelle posted seven aces, which ties for the third-highest performance in a five-set match in program history.


Following a season in which she produced career-best marks in nearly every statistical category, Winkler was named AVCA All-Region Honorable Mention for the first time in her career. For the season, Winkler hit .313, averaging 2.28 kills/set, .73 blocks/set and 2.7 points/set. Against regionally and nationally ranked foes, Winkler hit .246, averaging 2.21 kills/set, .80 blocks/set and 2.45 points/set. In the team's 3-0 sweep of then No. 14 Christopher Newport, Winkler recorded 10 kills on 23 swings while posting a season-high seven blocks. In the CCC Tournament, Winkler finished with 18 kills and just three errors on 29 swings to go with three total blocks.


Endicott (23-7) will take on Bowdoin in the opening round of the NCAA DIII Women's Volleyball Tournament on Friday, November 15 at 5:30 PM. All matches in the regional pod will be hosted at Tufts.

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(Photo Credit - David Le '10) 

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