Cornelius is the seventh Ivy League Rookie of the Year in program history (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Freshman Christina Cornelius has been named the Ivy League Women's Volleyball Rookie of the Year, headlining a group of five Crimson named to the All-Ivy League teams on Thursday.
Cornelius is the seventh freshman in program history to earn Rookie of the Year honors and was also selected to the All-Ivy first team along with Corinne Bain and Kathleen Wallace, who were both unanimous selections. Caroline Holte was tabbed to the second team with Sindhu Vegesena earning honorable mention accolades.
For Harvard, this marks the second straight year that five members of the squad have received all-conference accolades, matching the program record set last year. The Crimson's three All-Ivy first team selections, meanwhile, also match the program high.
Harvard was rewarded for capturing a share of its second straight Ivy League championship with a 14-10 overall record and 10-4 conference mark. The Crimson shared this year's title with Princeton (15-8, 10-4 Ivy League), and will host the Tigers tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. in a one-match playoff to determine who will represent the Ancient Eight in the 2015 NCAA tournament. Admission to the Ivy League Playoff is free, as is the live stream on the Ivy League Digital Network.
Cornelius has put together one of the most dominant rookie seasons in Harvard history, ranking seventh in the NCAA, first in the conference, in blocks per set (1.56) while also ranking second in hitting percentage (.343). The Los Angeles, California, native has been even more dominant in Ivy League play, registering 1.76 blocks per set with a league-leading .388 percentage. Her 103 block assists are the most ever by a member of the Crimson in a single season, with her 122 total blocks ranking fourth-highest.
Cornelius' work at the net has helped to limit opponents to a .161 hitting percentage, .127 in conference, both of which are the lowest averages in the Ivy League since 2012. She boasts 15 matches in which she has blocked at least five attempts, and was twice named Rookie of the Week.
Bain was a unanimous selection to the All-Ivy League first team for a third-consecutive year, becoming the first student-athlete in program history to be voted to the first team three times. The junior was named the Ivy League Player of the Week four times through the season's first six weeks, including three-straight weeks to begin the season, and earned honor roll recognition seven times. A native of Manhattan Beach, California, Bain once again led the Ivy League and was fifth in the NCAA with six triple-doubles, giving her 22 for her career, and turned in 18 double-doubles in 24 matches. Playing both the setter and outside hitter positions in Harvard's 6-2 system, Bain ranked among the league leaders in nearly every statistical category including kills per set (15th, 2.34), assists per set (9th, 5.69), digs per set (8th, 3.42), blocks per set (14th, 0.78), aces per set (6th, 0.25) and points per set (13th, 3.0).
Wallace was also a unanimous first-team pick, earning her second All-Ivy accolade after also being named to the first team in 2013. The senior took her game to a new level in Ivy League play, averaging 3.48 kills per set and hitting .226 after totaling 2.43 kills per set and a .174 percentage in five non-conference matches. Wallace contributed double-digit kills in 11 of the 14 conference matches, and also turned in six of her seven double-doubles against the Ancient Eight. The San Francisco native became a six-rotation player for the Crimson this season, posting career-highs in kills per set (3.24), digs per set (2.50) and blocks per set (0.65). Wallace's career 2.68 kills per set average ranks eighth in program history, and she will graduate having earned two Ivy League Player of the Week honors, including one this season.
Holte received All-Ivy League second team plaudits for a second consecutive year after ranking third in the conference in blocks per set (1.14) and sixth in hitting percentage (.306). Her 94 block assists are a career-high and second in program history only to Cornelius' 103, while her 104 total blocks this season are one shy of her career-best and the 10th position on Harvard's single-season list. The Laguna Beach, California, native became the program's all-time leader in block assists this season and currently boasts 348, with her 383 total blocks ranking second in program history, 11th in Ivy annals.
Vegesena was also named All-Ivy League for the second-consecutive season as an honorable mention selection. A native of Spring, Texas, Vegesena ranks second in the conference with 4.69 digs per set, including 4.86 digs per set during league play. Her 4.69 digs per set represent the fourth-highest average in program history while her 427 digs also rank fourth. Vegesena registered at least 20 digs in 10 matches this season, and turned in five 20-dig performances against the Ancient Eight.