Rachel Yorke Earns All-NESCAC and AVCA All-Region Honors

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AMHERST, MA – The NESCAC announced today the members of its 2009 Volleyball All-Conference Teams, with junior defensive specialist Rachel Yorke (Los Angeles, CA) representing Amherst College by earning a spot on the Second Team for a second consecutive year.  Later in the week, Yorke earned AVCA All-New England Honorable Mention honors.

This is the second time in as many years Yorke was the lone Lord Jeff to earn All-NESCAC honors. The junior standout finished second in the conference in digs per set for a third consecutive year, as she has consistently been one of the region’s top defensive players. After averaging 5.7 digs per set as a first-year, Yorke averaged 5.1 as a sophomore and 5.1 in 2009.

Yorke recorded at least 20 digs in 12 matches and at least 30 digs twice, closing out the 2009 season with 40 digs against Tufts in the NESCAC Championship semifinals. She averaged 6.5 digs per set in last year’s conference tournament, and this year proved to be much of the same as she averaged 6.9 digs per set in two postseason matches.

Yorke was named to the All-Tournament Team at ECSU’s Crabtree Classic, marking the fourth All-Tournament honor of her career. In conference matches this year, she averaged 5.38 digs per set. Amherst finished its 2009 season at 20-8 and is 72-21 since Yorke’s arrival.

Earning NESCAC Player of the Year honors was Dena Feiger of Tufts University, with Cora Thompson also taking home Coach of the Year honors for the Jumbos. Wesleyan’s Ruby Hernandez was named the Defensive Player of the Year, with Julia Gibbs of Middlebury wrapping up the individual honorees as the Rookie of the Year.

First Team
Kate Anderson (Williams)
Nicole Ballon-Landa (Williams)
Dena Feiger (Tufts)
Jane Handel (Middlebury)
Ruby Hernandez (Wesleyan)
Amy Newman (Connecticut)
Caitlin Updike (Tufts)

Second Team
Emily Avis (Williams)
Lauren Barrett (Middlebury)
Marissa DeMais (Connecticut)
Ellie Healy (Wesleyan)
Brogie Helgeson (Tufts)
Danielle Isaman (Trinity)
Dawson Joyce-Mendive (Tufts)
Rachel Yorke (Amherst)

Player of the Year: Dena Feiger (Tufts)
Defensive Player of the Year: Ruby Hernandez (Wesleyan)
Rookie of the Year: Julia Gibbs (Middlebury)
Coach of the Year: Cora Thompson (Tufts)