CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Sara Heldman (Greenwood, Ind.), a senior setter on the University of New Hampshire volleyball team, has been selected as America East Setter of the Year. Heldman, a second team All-America East honoree, headlines a group of three New Hampshire award recipients, which were announced Thursday afternoon by the America East conference.
Heldman is joined on the America East All-Conference second team by junior outside hitter Amy Keding (Northbrook, Ill.). In addition to Heldman and Keding, freshman right-side hitter Destiny Tolliver (Rochester, Mich.) was named to the All-Rookie team.
Heldman becomes the first America East student-athlete to earn both Setter of the Year and Defensive Specialist of the Year honors as she was also selected as the co-Defensive Specialist of the Year last season. In 2010, Heldman recorded 9.11 assists per set in addition to 2.76 digs per set. The senior served up 16 aces and recorded 26 blocks on the year. Heldman finished her final year at New Hampshire with a team-leading 13 double-doubles. She was named the Setter of the Week three times this season. Heldman ended her tenure in Durham with 104 sets and finished with 287 digs. She became the first player in program history to win Setter of the Year and is a two-time All-America East honoree. Heldman is just the second player in UNH history to record 1,000 kills and 1, 000 assists.
Keding emerged as one the league's top offensive players during her junior campaign. She paced a well-balanced offensive attack for the Wildcats and was among the league leaders in several categories. Overall, she ranked ninth in points and fourth in kills. She ranked second on the team in kills (297) and points (339) and was third in blocks (62). Keding was the America East Player of the Week on Sept. 27.
Tolliver made an immediate impact for the Wildcats as a freshman, ranking seventh in the America East in blocks (65). Tolliver finished her first year among the team leaders in several catagories with 125 kills, 91 digs and 182 points. Tolliver was named America East Rookie of the Week on back-to-back weeks on Sept. 27 & Oct. 4.
The Wildcats ended their season on November 12 with a 3-2 win at UMBC. UNH closed out 2010 with a 10-17 overall mark and a 5-7 record in America East play.