Dorton tabbed CAA Preseason Player of the Year

RICHMOND, Va. (COFC) -{}College of Charleston senior standout Darcy Dorton has been tabbed the Colonial Athletic Association Preseason Player of the Year according to a vote of the league's volleyball coaches.

The honor continues the new league's respect for CofC's volleyball program, as last week the CAA unanimously chose College of Charleston as the preseason favorite to win the league in 2013.

Dorton was joined on the seven-player All-CAA preseason team by junior right-side hitter Sloane White. College of Charleston was the only program to have two players represented on the squad. Sophomore Melissa Morello earned honorable mention accolades.

Dorton was an All-Southern Conference First Team honoree last season while also earning AVCA All-America honorable mention accolades -- the first in school history. The Muncie, Ind., native led the Cougars in 2012 with 529 kills with an average of 4.20 kills per set, a mark that ranks fourth in CofC single-season history. Dorton also finished her junior campaign with a team-high 17 double-doubles and an average of 2.83 digs per set. She set a new program record for kills in an NCAA match as she put down 27 to lead the Cougars over then-No. 23 Miami (Fla.) in the first round.

A native of Indianapolis, Ind., White was second team All-SoCon last season and earned MVP honors in the SoCon Tournament. She led the team with a .323 hitting percentage and finished with 2.94 kills per set. Her patented accuracy and consistency made her the go-to in late match situations with the winning kills in the SoCon Tourney final and the NCAA Tournament first-round, all in the fifth set.

Despite not starting until the third weekend of the season, Morello emerged as a freshman sensation last season, averaging 2.43 kills/set and 2.26 digs per set to finish with seven double-doubles, earning her Freshman All-SoCon accolades.

Joining Dorton and White on the preseason All-CAA volleyball squad were Northeastern outside hitter Kelly Bacon, Hofstra outside hitter Kelsie Wills, Delaware libero Ariel Shonk, William and Mary outside hitter Dessi Koleva and UNCW right side hitter Christi Laite. Bacon was the reigning CAA Player of the Year, but Dorton beat her out in the 2013 preseason voting.

The 2013 season begins on Aug. 30 when the Cougars travel to Atlanta, Ga., to compete in a tournament at Georgia Tech, while the home opener is the following Tuesday against Charleston Southern. CofC's first CAA competition comes on Sept. 27 with a trip to Northeastern.