2014 All-CCC Volleyball Team Announced

2014 All-CCC Volleyball Team Announced

Six different institutions that sponsor volleyball from the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) were represented on the 2014 All-CCC Volleyball Team.  In addition to the all-conference team, five major individual award winners and a team sportsmanship award winner were also selected. Roger Williams University junior Elizabeth Flaherty was honored as the Player of the Year, while freshman teammate Josalyn Benson was selected as the Rookie of the Year, while Western New England University senior Grace Kucharski and Salve Regina University senior Dianna Tauro earned Libero of the Year. The Senior Scholar-Athlete of the Year honor went to Western New England senior Grace Kucharski and Roger Williams University head coach Ben Somera was named CCC Coach of the Year. Gordon College was the recipient of the Team Sportsmanship Award.

Voting for the All-CCC team and each of the major awards was conducted among CCC volleyball coaches.

Joining Flaherty, Kucharski, and Tauro on the first team were Kristen Boyer (Roger Williams), Jennifer Duggan (Salve Regina), Olivia Lathrop (Western New England), Tori McIntyre (Endicott) and Brittany McMullen (Roger Williams).

Earning second team honors were Maria Batas (Roger Williams), Kasey Cameron (Western New England), Andrea Gorman (Roger Williams), Leah Janelle and Grayson Szcezepaniak (University of New England), Alleigh Vandemerkt (Endicott) and Taylor Violet (Salve Regina).

Joining Benson on Honorable mention was Kelsey Armstrong (Western New England), Katelyn Beauregard (Salve Regina), Kortney Jenkins (Eastern Nazarene), Hayley Knapp (Endicott), Emily Lipinski (Salve Regina), Jessica Sincero and Carly Skibinski (Western New England),  and Erika Trudon (Endicott).


Flaherty, a junior outside hitter from Sloatsburg, N.Y., is a two-time All-CCC selection and returning AVCA All-America honorable mention honoree who plays a critical role on the CCC’s top offensive unit and is among the most versatile performers in the conference.  Entering the 2014 CCC Championship, Flaherty is the only student-athlete who ranks among the CCC’s top nine in both kills and digs per set.  Flaherty leads all Hawks and ranks fifth in the CCC with 2.59 kills per set, while also ranking ninth among all CCC players with 3.20 digs per set.  In addition to her prowess on the attack and on the defensive side of the net, Flaherty also ranks third in the league with 3.27 points per set, while ranking seventh in the CCC with 0.52 service aces per set.  In 22 matches played over the course of the season, Flaherty registered 10 or more kills on nine separate occasions, posted double-digit kills 13 times, and authored double-double performances seven times, including a stretch of five consecutive double-doubles at one juncture. 


Kucharski, a senior defensive specialist from Avon, Conn., has assembled impressive credentials on and off the court that personify her as a shining example as a top Division III student-athlete.  On the court, Kucharski is a four-time All-CCC performer who has claimed a share of two CCC Libero of the Year awards.  As a senior, Kucharski has averaged 3.87 digs per set, the sixth-highest average in the conference, while amassing 430 total digs, which is the second-most digs of any CCC player this year. She has also averaged 0.56 services aces per set, which ranks fourth in the conference, while her 62 service aces ranks just three behind the CCC leader, teammate Kendra Ouimette. This season alone, Kucharski registered double-digit digs in 24 of 30 matches, including seven matches with 20 or more digs.  With more than 2,000 career digs, Kucharski is on pace to finish her career in the top-10 all-time for New England Division III volleyball.  Academically, Kucharski is even more impressive, as she sports a 3.92 GPA in the Western New England five-year Master of Business program and has earned induction into numerous national honor societies.  The two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District selection is the recipient of the WNE DiRuzza Leadership Award that is bestowed upon the top female student-athlete in leadership and community service. The 2013 WNE Female Athlete of the Year, Kucharski is also the starting catcher on the Golden Bears softball team.


Tauro, a senior libero from Melrose, Mass., is a two-time All-CCC honoree who is being recognized with a share of the CCC Libero of the Year award for the first time. The talented Tauro concluded the regular season ranking fifth among all CCC volleyball players with both 4.39 digs per set and 380 total digs.  In 26 matches played for third-place Salve Regina in 2014, Tauro posted double-digit digs on 20 separate occasions, while topping the 20-dig plateau five times. She was recognized for her stellar play this season with three CCC Libero of the Week awards.  Over a standout four-year career, Tauro has compiled more than 1,200 career digs and currently ranks fourth all-time in that category at Salve Regina. With a 3.33 grade point average and majoring in biology, Tauro was also a nominee for CoSIDA Academic All-America.



Benson, a freshman setter from Phoenix, Ariz., made an immediate impact in Bristol, helping to set for a group of Roger Williams hitters that posted a CCC-best 12.01 kills per set.  In 21 matches played, Benson led the Hawks with 7.27 assists per set and 451 total assists, numbers that ranked fourth and eighth in the conference, respectively.  She was one of two RWU setters who ranked in the CCC’s top-10 in both categories.  Benson’s value to the Hawks wasn’t limited to her role as the team’s leading setter, as she also chipped in 24 service aces, fourth-best on the RWU squad and 99 digs, fifth-highest on her team. In addition, Benson added 31 kills and 11 blocks as a solid all-around contributor in every phase of the game.

Ben Somera - Head Shot

Somera, in his third year guiding the Roger Williams program, is being recognized by his peers as CCC Coach of the Year for the first time. Under Somera’s guidance, the Hawks head into the 2014 CCC Volleyball Championship as the top seed after ending the regular-season with a 20-5 overall record, including a perfect 8-0 mark in conference play.  During the 2014 regular season, RWU did not drop a single set against a CCC opponent.  The Hawks, one season removed from setting a program-record 31 wins and posting a victory in the NCAA Tournament as the top seed in New England, are currently ranked third in the most recent NCAA Division III New England regional rankings and received votes in the latest AVCA Division III Coaches Top-25 national poll.  Statistically, the Hawks lead the CCC with a .211 attack percentage, 12.01 kills, 11.34 assists and 16.80 digs per set. In three years helping the Hawks soar, Somera has compiled an impressive overall record of 72-20 (.783), a sparkling conference record of 22-2 (.917) back-to-back CCC Championships.



OH – Kristen Boyer, Roger Williams, Senior
OH – Jennifer Duggan, Salve Regina, Senior
OH – Elizabeth Flaherty, Roger Williams, Junior
MH – Olivia Lathrop, Western New England, Junior
OH – Tori McIntyre, Endicott, Sophomore
MB – Brittany McMullen, Roger Williams, Sophomore
L - Grace Kucharski, Western New England, Junior
L – Dianna Tauro, Salve Regina, Senior

OH - Kasey Cameron, Western New England, Senior
MB – Andrea Gorman, Roger Williams, Senior
OH– Leah Janelle, University of New England, Senior
MB – Grayson Szczepaniak, University of New England, Sophomore
S- Alleigh Vandemerkt, Endicott, Junior
S – Taylor Violet, Salve Regina, Senior
L – Maria Batas, Roger Williams, Freshman

OH – Kelsey Armstrong, Western New England, Junior
RS – Katelyn Beauregard, Salve Regina, Senior
S – Josalyn Benson, Roger Williams, Freshman
OH – Kortney Jenkins, Eastern Nazarene, Senior
MB – Hayley Knapp, Endicott, Sophomore
MB – Emily Lipinski, Salve Regina, Junior
S – Jessica Sincero, Western New England, Sophomore
MH – Carly Skibinski, Western New England, Freshman
L – Erika Trudon, Endicott, Sophomore


PLAYER OF THE YEAR        Elizabeth Flaherty, Roger Williams    
LIBERO OF THE YEAR        Grace Kucharski, Western New England
                                            Dianna Tauro, Salve Regina
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR       Josalyn Benson, Roger Williams
SENIOR SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR         Grace Kucharski, Western New England
COACH OF THE YEAR         Ben Somera, Roger Williams


To view the PDF list of the All-CCC team click HERE.