Local grads earn honors in college | November 16, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |


Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - November 16, 2012

Local grads earn honors in college

by Keith Peters

UC Davis senior outside hitter Allison Whitson has earned Big West Conference women's volleyball Player of the Week honors for the second time in 2012, it was announced by the league office on Monday. This is the third such award for the Palo Alto High grad in her career.

Whitson tallied 39 total kills for a 6.50 per-set average and hit .326 in road sweeps over Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara over the previous weekend, helping the Aggies climb into fourth place in the always-tough Big West race.

The 6-foot-1 Whitson opened the weekend with 19 kills and a .472 attack average in Friday's 3-0 win against the Mustangs. She finished the match with back-to-back kills, helping UC Davis turn a 23-18 deficit into a 29-27 win in the third set.

The following night, Whitson slammed 20 kills and tallied her 16th double-double of the year with 11 digs to lead the Aggies to their first sweep and only second-ever road win over the Gauchos. In similar fashion to Friday's match, her offense was particularly crucial in the 29-27 third set -- she tallied 10 kills on 22 swings, including back-to-back kills to finish the match.

Her 20 kills is the most by an Aggie for a three-set match since Kayla Varney notched that total against Fresno State on August 31, 2007.

Whitson previously won Big West Conference Player of the Week honors on September 10, after earning tournament MVP honors at the Fresno State Classic; and on September 26 of last year, following strong performances against Pacific and UC Irvine to open league play.

Whitson, ranked second in school history in both career kills and career attacks, will compete in her final two home matches on Friday and Saturday against Cal State Northridge and No. 7 Hawaii this weekend.

In other college volleyball news:

Harvard senior captain Taylor Docter from Castilleja has been named to the Capital One Academic All-District Volleyball First Team for District I, as voted on by the College of Sports Information Directors of America. This marks the fifth straight year a member of the Crimson has earned Academic All-District honors.

Docter has left her mark on the Crimson record books this season. The Los Altos native recently moved into Harvard's all-time top-10 ledger for kills, and currently ranks eighth with 963 kills. She is fourth in attack attempts (3,370), sixth in aces (98) and eighth in kills per set (2.67).

Docter, a human developmental and regenerative biology concentrator, garnered Ivy League Player of the Week recognition on Oct. 16 after leading the Crimson to two-straight victories against Cornell and Columbia.

In 2011, she was named to the All-Ivy League second team and Academic All-Ivy. Docter nabbed Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors her freshman year after recording 37 kills in her first three collegiate matches.

The senior wrapped up her final regular season last weekend with a loss to Yale and a win over Brown. She had five kills and 12 digs against Yale and 12 kills plus 11 digs against Brown.

The 2012 Capital One Academic All-District Team award honors the nation's top student-athletes for their combined academic and athletic accomplishments. The selection qualifies Docter to be a CoSIDA Academic All-American.

Meanwhile, Palo Alto High grad Caroline Martin is one of four members of the Connecticut College women's volleyball program who have been honored on the All-New England Small College Athletic Conference Volleyball Team.

Martin, a freshman, became the second player in program history -- the first since 2005 -- to earn NESCAC Rookie of the Year honors. The outside hitter ranks second in the league with 3.35 kills per set, while leading the conference with 53 service aces. Martin also has been effective on the defensive side of the ball, posting 3.28 digs per set and 28 blocks. Martin has registered 10 double-doubles (kills-digs) this fall.

Martin and her teammates hosted the NESCAC Championship and an NCAA Division III regional for the first time in program history. Connecticut College won its NCAA opener last weekend against Framingham State University, 3-0, but then was eliminated following a loss to eventual regional champ UMass-Boston, 3-2, and finished the season 25-4.

Cross country

Gunn High alumni earned all-conference honors recently at the SCIAC Cross Country Championships. Alec Johann (2010) of Pomona-Pitzer placed fourth in the men's race and Tara Saxena (2009) of Occidental placed 17th in the women's event.

Both Johann and Saxena competed at the NCAA West Region Championships on Saturday at Willamette College in Salem, Ore. Johann finished eighth in a personal best of 24:50.48 in the 8K race while helping his team finish second and qualify for the NCAA Division III Championships this weekend in Terre Haute, Ind.

Saxena was 47th overall in the women's race as Occidental failed to qualify for nationals.

Women's soccer

Menlo School grad Madi Shove, a senior forward for Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, was named to the All-SCIAC first team this season.

Sacred Heart Prep grad Elizabeth Weisman of Atherton, a junior from Harvard, was named honorable mention on the All-Ivy League team.


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