Under the direction of ninth year coach Sonnie Terrell, the Mount Holyoke volleyball team had a number of promising efforts throughout the 2016 campaign as several players finished among the NEWMAC's best in a number of statistical categories. Overall, the Lyons posted a 5-17 mark, going 0-10 in conference action.
MHC shouldered a loss to open the season, but rebounded with wins against St. Joseph (3-0) and MCLA (3-1). First year middle hitter Sasha Simine set the tone for the Lyons defensively against the BlueJays, posting five blocks, while in the victory over the Trailblazers, four different players recorded 10 or more kills with sophomore middle hitter Jamesa Allen leading the way with 13 strikes. Additionally, senior setter and captain Natalie Lyon notched a career-high 39 assists to go along with 15 digs against MCLA.
A rough stretch followed, but MHC snapped a 10-game slide with a strong win over Elms at home. Junior outside hitter Katrina Meserve boasted a game-high 10 kills, while Simine was perfect on all six swings for six kills and a match-best four block assists. Additionally, Lyon was phenomenal, recording 27 assists and an impressive six service aces to lead both categories.
Mount Holyoke suffered a trio of losses, but bounced back convincingly with a pair of victories in a 2-1 week. The Lyons kicked-off the wins with a 3-0 effort at Albertus Magnus, which saw Simine and sophomore middle hitters Joy Maran and Sarah Caggiano all notch 10 kills. In addition to a 30 assist-10 dig effort from Lyon, Caggiano paced all players with three block solos.
Victory followed four days later as the Lyons bested Pioneer Valley-rival Wesfield State, 3-0 as part of tri-meet action at Mildred S. Howard Gymnasium. Against the Owls, Simine posted a match-high 12 kills with five block assists, while Lyon added a match-best 23 assists.
Despite the momentum, the Lyons shouldered losses in each of their final three matches. Maran notched 30 kills during the span, while Simine added seven total blocks. Lyon closed out her collegiate career in solid fashion, boasting 86 assists with 41 digs and five service aces over the final three contests.
Overall, Maran led the squad in kills with 172 through 22 matches. She also paced the team with 216.5 points, while recording a team-high 2.36 kills per set average. Allen finished second in total kills with 159, posting a 2.18 kills per set margin. She was also second overall with 33 service aces.
Simine was also solid in her rookie season, leading the team with 56 blocks. Her work on offense was also well noted as she laid down 139 kills with just 36 errors on 336 total attempts. Simine's efforts amounted to a team-high .307 hitting percentage, which was good for fifth among all NEWMAC players. She also ranked seventh in blocks solo (13) and was eighth in blocks per set average (.77).
Lyon excelled in her senior campaign, registering 516 assists, which was just three shy of her career record (519 in 2013). She also recorded a team-high 36 service aces and was second overall in digs with 210. Lyon finished eighth in the NEWMAC in assists per set with 7.07 and 10th in total assists, while also posting .49 aces per set, which was eighth in the conference.
Academically, the Lyons had four players tabbed to the NEWMAC Academic All-Conference team including Allen. Caggiano, Maran, and Isabell Linde. Linde was also named to the conference's All-Sportsmanship Team.
• Finished 11th in the NEWMAC Standings
• Posted wins over St. Joseph, MCLA, Elms, Albertus Magnus, and Westfield State
• Four named NEWMAC Academic All-Conference