Montclair, NJ (11/4/11) – Sophomore libero Kaitlyn Irwin (Cranford, NJ / Cranford) was named the Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season as Montclair State placed three players on the 2011 New Jersey Athletic Conference All-Conference Team announced on Friday.
Irwin was also named to the Second Team along with freshman Daniella Salemo (Ramsey, NJ / Ramsey). Sophomore Alyssa Batiste (Manahawkin, NJ / Southern Regional) was chosen Honorable Mention. The three helped the Red Hawks to the NJAC Tournament for the sixth consecutive season.
A now two-time NJAC all-conference selection, Irwin was recognized as the league’s top defensive player for the second consecutive season and marked the fourth time in the last five seasons that MSU has claimed that award. Meghan Stevens won the award in the 2007 and 2009 campaigns. Irwin currently ranks fifth in the NJAC in digs (3.94 per set). A Week 9 NJAC Defensive Player of the Week selection, she finished conference competition ranked third in digs (5.14 per set), and 18th in service aces (0.32 per set). Irwin also passed the 1,000-dig mark for her career in the Montclair State's four-set win at William Paterson on October 20. She has 1,142 digs in her two season, goo enough for third all time in MSU history.
Salemo was a two-time NJAC Rookie of the Week selection this season. The freshman led Montclair State in kills with 232 and also posted 33 service aces in addition to being second to Irwin in digs with 288. Salemo ranks in the Top 20 in the conference in all three categories.
Batiste also earns her first selection after a solid all-around season. She finished third on the team in kills with 153 while adding 27 assists, 38 service aces (second on the team), 152 digs and 24 total blocks. Batiste had 15 kills and 10 digs in the Red Hawks' NJAC Tournament First-Round matchup with Rutgers-Camden.