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Baird Headlines Dartmouth's All-Ivy Volleyball Honorees

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Senior Madeline Baird (far left), senior Annie Villanueva (middle) and junior Alissa Santa...     By Dartmouth
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HANOVER, N.H. — The Ivy League announced its volleyball All-Ivy teams on Thursday and Dartmouth had three players earn honors. Senior Madeline Baird (Austin, Texas) made the first team, senior Annie Villanueva (Santa Barbara, Calif.) was selected to the second team and junior Alissa Santa Maria (Yorba Linda, Calif.) was named honorable mention.

Baird led the Big Green in kills (344) this year and was second on the team in digs (329). The outside hitter finished the season with 3.55 kills per set (second in the conference) and 3.87 points per set (third in the conference). In the home victory over Princeton this season on Oct. 28, she set the Big Green career kills' record and finished with 1,267. Anne Murray ’00 is in second with 1,180 kills. Baird also finished her career sixth the Big Green all-time digs' record with 1,133. She was named Ivy League Player of the Week twice this season on Sept. 13 and Oct. 25.  

It marked the fourth consecutive year that Baird received All-Ivy accolades. In her first year, she was named honorable mention and achieved second-team status in her sophomore and junior seasons.

Villanueva made an All-Ivy team for the first time in her career. The middle blocker finished the season with 259 kills (second on the team), while hitting .372. She also totaled 68 blocks, which placed her second on the team. She was named the Ivy League Player of the Week three times this season (Sept. 20, Nov. 1 and Nov. 15).

Her .372 hitting percentage (259 kills, 52 errors and 557 total attempts) not only led the Ivy League, but set a new single-season Dartmouth record. The previous high was set by Danra Kazenski ’99 in 1998 at .347 (244 kills, 56 errors and 548 total attempts). Villanueva also set the Big Green career hitting percentage record at .290 (658 kills, 190 errors and 1,615 total attempts). She passed the previous record held by Felicity Kolp '99 of .281 (304K, 77E and 804 total attempts).

Santa Maria earned her first All-Ivy honor following an impressive season for the Big Green. She led the team in assists with 676 and finished second in service aces with 24. The setter was third in the conference in assists per set at 9.01. The 676 assists marked the ninth-highest single-season total in the history of the program. She is also fifth on the career all-time assists' list with 1,434.

Kendall Polan of Yale was named the Player of the Year and Mollie Rogers of Yale was named the Rookie of the Year. There were seven players named to the first team, eight players named to the second team and six named honorable mention.

Dartmouth finished the season 16-9 and fourth in the Ivy League with a conference mark of 8-6. The 16 wins marked the most for the Big Green since the 1999 season when the team went 16-15. The last time Dartmouth had more than 16 wins in a season was in 1998 when the squad went 19-8.  The last time Dartmouth won eight matches in the Ivy League was in 2007. The Big Green has never won more than eight contests in the Ancient Eight.