Senior at Keene State College Rachel Lamica recently became the first All-American in the history of KSC’s volleyball program.
Not only did she earn the All-American title, but Lamica was also All-Conference, All-Region and an All-Star in her fourth year for the Owls.
Lamica said the award is a “great honor,” and that she was very surprised that she was the first All-American in program history, saying that there have been so many great players before her. Lamica was also put on the Little East Conference (LEC) All-Conference Team and the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA)-Region Second Team this year.
Lamica said that she has her teammates and coaches to thank for her success, and that everyone stepped up and played very well this year, especially the young players.
Coach Robert Weiner said that the award was “completely deserved.” Weiner said Lamica “got no love in the region,” which she deserved around the league for the past few years and that it was nice to see her get recognized.
He said that he is glad someone at the national level saw the special player that Lamica is.
Lamica played in 30 games for the Owls this past season, winning Offensive Player of the Week five times.
She totaled 456 kills, the third most in a single season by a player in KSC history, and led the conference in kills per set. She also hit .280 on the season, finished in the top five in the conference for both kills and hitting percentage, had 42 blocks, 237 digs and 43 service aces.
Defensive Player of the Year winner, and third-year player, Riley Bunker said that she thinks this year was the best year she has had at KSC so far.
She also said that Lamica will be missed next year.
Bunker said that they will have to find someone to fill in for Lamica, which will not be easy.
But she also said that the team has been preparing to fill her role and has been training new players.
Bunker said that the team will miss having that player they knew would always go out and get a kill for them when they needed it, but she knows the team will be good next year and will have the benefit of four juniors who will be returning next year.
Lamica said the key to the team’s success this year was their communication and connection.
She also said that the addition of first-year player Bailey Wilson was a big help to her personally because she always knew where the ball would be.
Lamica said that she knows next year’s team will do well, and if they continue to build on last season’s success they “will be unstoppable.”
Weiner said that the biggest challenge for next year will be redistributing the offense without Lamica there.
He said that when you remove one player from a team the whole rhythm of the team changes.
But Weiner said that he was glad the team was so successful this year, he said “my job here, what they pay me the big bucks here, is to give them [the players] an experience, well I got one, we got one really good year, man I’d like to repeat that.”
Weiner said that losing Lamica’s talent will be hard, but he thinks the team could be great next year if they build on what they accomplished, and come together like they did this year.
Simon Burch can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org