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Kirven, Atkinson come away with CAA awards

At the Colonial Athletic Association banquet Thursday night, Head Coach Bruce Atkinson and senior setter Aubrey Kirven received big honors.

For the second season in a row, Atkinson was named CAA Coach of the Year, mostly due to the team’s undefeated conference record.

“I think it says a lot more about this group of athletes we have,” Atkinson said. “I think it’s easy for coaches to get caught up in thinking thy made these huge changes, and I do think our coaching staff has done some nice things, but none of it would have been possible without the student-athletes. We’ve got a tremendous group of young players and I think it’s a big credit to them.”

Kirven was named the CAA Setter of the Year. She finished the regular season averaging 12.6 assists per set and recorded 1,197 in 95 sets played. Her assists per set average ranked her second in the nation.

“A lot of setters will have a great match here and there, but to be able to maintain that average night after night after night, to be able to stay healthy or be able to fight through injuries, is a great credit to her,” Atkinson said.

Four Tigers were also named to All-CAA teams.

Senior opposite hitter Marta Machos was named to the third team All-CAA, junior middle blocker I’ishah Keliikoa was named to the second team All-CAA, and senior setter Aubrey Kirven and junior outside hitter Katy Buck were named to the first team All-CAA.

“They’re the ones that are busting their rear ends every day and while any of them would be quick to give credit to the entire team, it’s nice to be able to see some of them receive some individual recognition also,” Atkinson said.

In addition to Kirven’s NCAA-topping number, Keliikoa finished fourth in the country with a .438 hitting percentage, recording 195 kills on 354 total attacks with 40 errors.

As a team, Towson finished third in the country in kills per set with 14.82, falling behind Oregon and Yale, fifth in the county in assists per set with 13.84, 11th in hitting percentage with 2.84, and tied for sixth in the country with a .893 win-loss percentage.

The Tigers will compete in the semifinal round of the CAA Tournament Saturday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. at the Towson Center. The team will play the winner of the Hofstra vs. William & Mary game that will take place Friday at 7 p.m.

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