Pioneer volleyball player Suzy Ni Xu became the department's sixth end-of-season award winner since returning to Division II competition four years ago. (Photo: Kelley Cox)
Cal State East Bay volleyball received good news as the team headed into its postseason and the Thanksgiving break. The conference's yearly awards, voted on by the head coaches, were released in late November. Pioneer opposite side hitter Suzy Ni Xu was honored as CCAA Newcomer of the Year and was also named to first-team All-Conference.
Xu was the top attacker for East Bay in 2012, leading the Pioneers with 360 kills, 919 total attempts, 404 points, and a .260 hitting percentage. She averaged 3.13 kills per set and was third on the team with 55 total blocks. In conference matches this year, she was fifth in the CCAA in kills and ranked in the top-10 in hitting percentage.
Earlier this year, the junior from Da Lian Liao, China was named to the All-Tournament teams of both preseason tournaments: the Nanook Classic in Alaska and the Route 92 Showdown, co-hosted by Cal State East Bay. She played her best match of the season in the final week, posting a career-high 28 kills and hitting .522 in a win over Cal State Monterey Bay.
Xu is the sixth Pioneer to win an end-of-season award -- and the second to win Newcomer of the Year -- since East Bay moved up to Division II. She joins CCAA honorees Jacari Whitfield (2011-12), Micah Walker (2011-12), Lauren Lucchesi (2009-10), and Charlie Sharrer (2010), as well as WWPA Newcomer of the Year Claire Pierce (2010).
Below is the full list of 2012 CCAA award winners and first-team All-Conference honorees:
Player of the Year: Iris Tolenada -- setter, San Francisco State
Freshman of the Year: Meagan Wright -- middle blocker, San Francisco State
Newcomer of the Year: Suzy Ni Xu -- opposite, Cal State East Bay
Coach of the Year: Jennifer Adeva, Cal State San Bernardino (22-8, 19-3, CCAA)
CCAA First Team
Camille Smith -- S, Cal State San Bernardino
Marquis Mora -- MB, Cal State L.A.
Iris Tolenada -- S, San Francisco State
Alex Shurtz -- OH, Chico State
Ally Sather -- OH, Sonoma State
Danielle Dahle -- OH, UC San Diego
Kelsey Hull -- OH, Sonoma State
Mercedes Winchester -- MB, Cal State San Bernardino
Sable Villaescusa -- S, Chico State
Suzy Ni Xu -- OPP, Cal State East Bay
Meagan Wright -- MB, San Francisco State
Julia Ashen -- OH, Cal State Monterey Bay
Alexandra Torline -- OH, Cal State San Bernardino
Click here for the full CCAA release.