Castilleja grad earns Athlete of the Week volleyball honors at NYU


Freshman Erin McLaughlin from Castilleja received the University Athletic Association (UAA) Athlete of the Week award for women's volleyball last week. McLaughlin was named NCAA New York Region Tournament Most Outstanding Player and helped lead the Violets to a 3-0 weekend (Nov. 12-14).

NYU earned its first regional title since 2005 and advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight.

McLaughlin recorded 32 kills (2.91 per set) with a team-best .417 hitting percentage, 10 service aces, 18 digs, and a team-high six blocks.

In the Violets' first-round match, a sweep of Westfield State University, McLaughlin led the team with nine kills while hitting .450 with two aces and two blocks. In the round of 32, McLaughlin once again led the team, putting down 15 kills while hitting .517 with three blocks as the Violets swept Clarkson University. In the Regional Championship match, she tallied eight kills and eight digs as NYU edged the Stevens Institute of Technology in five sets.

This is McLaughlin's first Athlete of the Week Award.

NYU's season, however, ended this past weekend as the Violets (38-6) dropped a 25-16, 25-16, 25-10 decision to third-ranked Washington University in the tournament quarterfinal match. McLaughlin had six kills and three digs while teammate and Menlo School grad Alexis Schwartz provided 14 digs, giving her a team-leading 581 this season, a school record.

In other volleyball news:

Palo Alto High grad Hillary Ford was named honorable mention on the All-Ivy League team last week after helping the Tigers finish third place in league play.

Ford, a junior libero from Portola Valley, averaged 3.98 digs per set, seventh-best in the Ivy League, and her 22 service aces led Princeton and ranked ninth in the league. Ford had double-digit digs in 15 of Princeton's last 16 matches, though she saved her best for last; she recorded a career-high 30 digs in the season finale against Penn.

Cross country

Priory graduate Chrissa Trudelle capped her collegiate career by earning All-American honors at the NAIA National Championships in Vancouver, Wash. The senior finished 29th out of 331 runners, becoming just the seventh woman from Westmont College to earn All-American recognition.

Trudelle was 54th as a junior on the same course at the Fort Vancouver Historical Site. This season's time of 18:32 on the 3.1-mile course was a 50-second improvement over last season.

"I felt focused the whole time on the people around me," Trudelle said. "I didn't think about the finishing time until I saw the clock at the end of the race. I was really pleased. I was hoping to run about 18:50 because I though that would be a nice improvement from last year."


Palo Alto High grad Trenton Hart caught a 42-yard touchdown pass and had an interception to help Foothill College defeat Sacramento City College, 28-16, to win the Silicon Valley Bowl on Saturday in Los Altos Hills. The Owls finished the season 9-2.

Men's water polo

Menlo School grads Mike Merlone and Matt Hale closed their college careers by helping lead No. 15-ranked Princeton to an 8-7 win over 17th-ranked Bucknell in the third-place game of the 2010 CWPA Eastern Championships on Sunday.

Palo Alto High grad Tim Wenzlau led the Tigers (19-7) with three goals while Hale added two. Merlone, the school's all-time leader in saves, made nine in his final game.

The Tigers finished second in Southern Division's regular season, but won the Southern Championship two weeks ago. Princeton placed third at Easterns after a semifinal loss to Navy.

Following the championship game, which St. Francis won 8-4 over Navy. Hale was named to the All-Tournament second team.

Earlier in the week, Merlone was named CWPA South Division Most Valuable Player. Merlone becomes Princeton's sixth Southern MVP and its first since 2008. Merlone also earned his second first-team All-Southern nod. Hale joined Merlone on the first team.

Sacred Heart Prep grad Alex Whittam of Johns Hopkins also was named to the first team.

Harvard, under the guidance of first-year coach Ted Minnis from Castilleja, capped season with a fifth-place finish at the CWPA Northern Division Championships at MIT. Harvard beat Iona, 7-6, in its final match as Crimson goalie Alexander Popp from Menlo-Atherton High had 11 saves in goal. Harvard finished its first season under Minnis at 12-16, the most wins for the program since 2007.

--Palo Alto Online Sports

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