NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. - Four Vanderbilt bowlers have been voted on the 2010 All-America team by the National Ten Pin Coaches Association.
Senior Josie Earnest and sophomore Brittni Hamilton were named to the five-woman first-team All-American squad for the second year in a row. Jessica Earnest was named the national "Rookie of the Year" and was a second-team All-America pick while senior Brittany Garcia's big spring catapulted her into the honorable mention category.
Nebraska's Cassie Leuthold broke Josie Earnest's string of two straight "Player of the Year" awards by leading the nation in average and winning four tournaments.
Josie Earnest had another big year in her own right, averaging 198 pins over 53 games and finishing in the Top 5 in four events. She served as the season as the first captain in program history.
Hamilton nearly cloned her freshman season, finishing second once again nationally in average with a nearly identical 202 average. She had five Top 5 finishes.
Jessica Earnest burst onto the collegiate scene in a big but not unexpected way. The younger sister of Josie and the nation's premier prep recruit a year ago, Jessica nearly matched her sister in average (197) in 50 games. She becomes the third Commodore to win the top rookie award; Michelle Peloquin won in 2006 and last year Hamilton was the recipient.
Garcia didn't see her first tournament action until January but made the most of her opportunity. Her 198.8 average was one of the highest in the country although her late start limited her to 26 games. She had the team's high game of the year with a 277.
The honor team was announced at the annual Awards Banquet held prior to the start of the NCAA Championship.
Post-Awards Banquet Quotes
Josie Earnest: It is always a gratifying feeling to think others believe you deserve an award. This is voted on by the national coaches so it means a lot to me.
On her sister's big night: It is a unique experience in itself to have a sister on the same team with you and then to have her win something I didn't win myself is special. Jess has always been in my footsteps and now she has something I don't. I am so very happy for her.
Brittany Garcia: I wasn't expecting that at all, to me this was a great honor and I'm most appreciative.
Jessica Earnest on being compared with her four-time All-American sister Josie: I don't look at it like that. I don't like to compare myself with her and think we've done a pretty good job of keeping things separate. One you get older you want to do your own thing.
Brittni Hamilton on being named a first-team pick for the second year in a row: It was not something I was working for although it is always nice to see your efforts rewarded. Our hard work is not intended for individual awards, our work is for team goals. Our primary goal is still ahead of us.
The 2010 NTCA All-America Team
First Team Cassie Leuthold, Nebraska, Senior Brittni Hamilton, Vanderbilt, Sophomore Maria Rodriguez, MES, Junior Josie Earnest, Vanderbilt, Senior Amanda Falk, Central Missouri, Senior
Second Team Paula Vilas, MES, Sophomore Erica Perez, FDU, Senior Jessica Earnest, Vanderbilt, Freshman Natalie Cortese, Valparaiso, Sophomore Samantha Santoro, Arkansas State, Sophomore
Third Team Angela Reynolds, FDU, Junior Martha Perez, MES, Junior Sara Litteral, FDU, Junior Ashley Clinchoc, Minnesota State, Senior Natalie Jimenez, Central Missouri, Freshman
Honorable Mention Keisheena Waldon, Morgan State, Sophomore Alexandra Stein, Saint Francis, Senior Brittany Garcia, Vanderbilt, Senior Adriana Jamie, Delaware State, Sophomore Marissa Martinek, Arkansas State, Senior Joely Carrillo, FDU, Sophomore Danielle McEwan, FDU, Freshman Nicole Drejewski, New Jersey City, Junior Kristina Frahm, MES, Junior Savannah Zientara, Sacred Heart, Sophomore
Division I Player of the Year: Cassie Leuthold, Nebraska Division II Player of the Year: Amanda Falk, Central Missouri Division III Player of the Year: Nicole Drejewski, New Jersey City
Division I Rookie of the Year: Jessica Earnest, Vanderbilt Division II Rookie of the Year: Natalie Jimenez, Central Missouri Division III Rookie of the Year: Jennifer Daunno, New Jersey City