MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Three members of the No. 25 Wesleyan volleyball team were named to the 2019 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III All-Region Teams, as announced recently by the AVCA. Senior middle blocker Nicole Hilton and junior libero Phia Bellizzi were named to the Northeast Region while senior setter Kaira Muraoka-Robertson was recognized as an Honorable Mention.
Hilton has received All-Region honors in each of the past three seasons. She was a Northeast All-Region selection as a sophomore and senior while earning Honorable Mention as a junior. Hilton was also recently named an All-NESCAC First Team selection and enjoyed another stellar season for the Cardinals. She finished the season ranked second in the conference blocks per set (1.00), third in points per set (3.8), fifth in hitting percentage (.343), and 10th in kills per set (2.87).
Bellizzi earns her second consecutive All-Region honor. The 2019 NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year was excellent once again this year as she finished the 2019 campaign as the conference leader in digs with an average of 6.02 per set and a total of 524. Her defensive excellence has played a key role in the Cardinals' success since she arrived in Middletown in 2017.
Muraoka-Robertson was named to the Northeast Region Team a year ago while being named an Honorable Mention this year. The team's setter, who was recently named an All-NESCAC Second Team selection, finished the season as the NESCAC leader in assists with 9.03. The second-most was 7.54. She also averaged 3.07 digs per set which ranked 13th in the league.
Wesleyan's 2019 season came to an end this weekend in the second round of the NCAA Division III Championship. Bellizzi, Hilton, and Muraoka-Robertson helped Wesleyan post a 21-5 overall record, marking the third straight year the program won at least 20 matches in a season and the third straight year the team reached the NCAA Tournament. Wesleyan's five losses are the fewest in a season in program history.