FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Fairfield University junior Skyler Day was named the 2016 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Player of the Year, as the Stags dominated the league's top honors.
The league's 10 coaches also selected Fairfield co-captains Megan Theiller and Megan O’Sullivan to the first team. In addition, Manuela Nicolini earned a spot on the All-MAAC Rookie Team, and coach Todd Kress was selected by his peers as the 2016 MAAC Coach of the Year.
Day is Fairfield’s first MAAC Player of the Year since Lindsey Lee was named the MAAC Offensive Player of the Year in 2006. Day leads the MAAC and ranks 31st in the nation with 4.25 kills per set, while her 450 total kills this fall ranks sixth in a single-season in Fairfield history. She has also contributed 2.43 digs per set to the defensive effort en route to 10 double-doubles. In 106 sets of action, she has rounds out her statline with a team-high 29 service aces along with 25 blocks and 22 assists.
Day was a three-time MAAC Player of the Week this season, with all three nods coming during the conference slate. In the Stags’ unbeaten trip through the MAAC regular season, Day averaged 4.58 kills per frame.
Also the 2016 MAAC Preseason Player of the Year, Day is now a two-time First Team All-MAAC honoree. She is the first player to win MAAC Player of the Year after being tabbed as MAAC Preseason Player of the Year since Siena’s Burgandy McCurty took home both honors in 2009. Fairfield’s Rachel Romansky was MAAC Preseason Player of the Year and went on to win MAAC Setter of the Year in 2013.
O’Sullivan also collects her second consecutive first team All-MAAC honor. The Stags’ only senior has posted 2.28 kills per frame while ranking second in the MAAC with a .322 hitting percentage from the middle. At the net, she slots third in the conference with 1.08 blocks per set. Her 114 total blocks rank ninth in Fairfield single-season history (third in the rally scoring era), and she is one of only three Stags to amass 100 blocks in two separate seasons. For her career, O’Sullivan 339 rejections are fourth in Fairfield history.
One of 30 candidates nationwide for the Senior CLASS Award recognizing achievement on the court, in the classroom and in the community, O’Sullivan hit .389 during MAAC play with 2.47 kills and 1.12 blocks per set.
Theiller garners her first career first team All-MAAC honor after leading the conference with four MAAC Player of the Week selections during the 2016 regular season. Theiller ranks second in the MAAC (behind Day) and 38th in the nation with 4.15 kills per set, while her 444 total kills rank eighth-most in Fairfield single-season history. She also slots seventh in the MAAC with a .280 hitting percentage despite having taken nearly 500 more swings than any other player ranked in the top 10. She also ranks second among Fairfield players with 2.79 digs to round out a team-leading 14 double-doubles.
Theiller hit .315 on the outside in Fairfield’s 18 MAAC contests this fall and led the conference during league play with 4.61 kills per set. Previously in her career, she was the 2014 MAAC Rookie of the Year and the Most Valuable Player of the 2015 MAAC Championship.
Nicolini handed out 6.21 assists per set while piloting Fairfield to a MAAC-best .246 hitting percentage. She added to the offense with 51 kills of her own in 103 sets of action while hitting at a .385 clip.
Fairfield has been led to a 26-5 overall record and an 18-0 MAAC tally by Kress, who collects his conference-record fifth MAAC Coach of the Year. Kress earns the award for the second consecutive season after winning it in three straight seasons from 1996-98 during his first stint on the Stags’ sidelines.
Fairfield’s plays in the MAAC semifinals on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. against the winner of Friday's matchup between fourth-seeded Rider and fifth-seeded Siena.
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