MAC Players Of The Week
THREE TEAMS ON A BIG ROLL:
With four weeks remaining in the regular season, three MAC schools are on a hot streak. Western Michigan has won 11 consecutive matches, all of them league contests, and have matched WMU's 1986 11-0 start in the MAC. Bowling Green, meanwhile, has won eight straight, the school's longest streak since a 10-match streak in 1992. Ball State has also claimed six straight victories, all of them at home where the Cardinals are 10-1 this season.
SCHAPER PASSES THE 5,000 MARK:
Akron's senior setter Kim Schaper, who a week ago became the school's all-time assist leader, became the MAC's third setter to reach the 5,000 assist plateau against Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Earlier in the week, Schaper, who has 5,112 career assists, had 79 assists in a five-game win versus Kent, the second-highest output in school history. Schaper also holds the single contest mark of 83 assists, which she also set against Kent as a sophomore.
NO PLACE LIKE HOME FOR BSU:
After Northern Illinois halted the BSU consecutive game win streak at 16 by winning the first game on Saturday, the Cardinals bounced back to win the next three games and earn their 10th straight victory in University Arena this season. That streak ties the fifth-longest string in school history. BSU will try to move into a tie for second on the list by winning two matches this week as Akron and Kent come to Muncie. Ball State has won 31 straight league matches at home in the month of October, a streak which dates back to Oct. 17, 1992.
ZIPS ARE GOING THE DISTANCE:
Akron played three matches this past week, all of them resulting in five-game, rally scoring contests. Akron beat Kent on Wednesday, then lost to Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Bowling Green on Friday and Saturday. The Zips have now played six matches that have gone the distance and are 2-4 in those games.
BRONCOS MAKING QUICK WORK:
Western Michigan has now gone 22 matches without playing a five-game set. The 1986 squad played 23 matches before going to rally-scoring, while the 1985 Broncos did not play five games until their 27th match of the season, a 3-2 loss to Purdue. The Broncos are the only MAC school that has yet to play a five-game match this season. In addition, only five of the team's 22 matches have lasted our games.
WINS PUT MIAMI BACK ON TRACK:
With a five-game win over Northern Illinois on Friday, Miami got back on track and ended its four-match losing skid. The RedHawks continued their winning ways by dominating Buffalo on Saturday in three games. Miami had not lost four consecutive MAC matches since 1993 and had not lost three consecutive home league matches since 1984.
MITCHELL SHINES FOR CMU:
Despite Central Michigan going 0-2 on the week, Jennifer Mitchell shined in all areas of the court. She posted a double-double in both matches including a near triple-double against Ohio with 20 kills, 12 digs and seven blocks. The junior, who averaged 1.57 blocks last week, is fifth in blocks in league contests (1.29) and ninth in the league in overall blocks per game (1.05).
ROOKIES FLOURISH FOR ZIPS:
With a rash of injuries early in the season plaguing Akron, freshmen Katie Kuzior and Jenn Snyder continue to produce as outside hitters for the Zips. Kuzior set a career-high in the match with rival Kent with 23 kills and also added 13 digs. Kuzior then followed that up with a 16-kill, 13-dig performance against Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Snyder also set a career high in the Kent match with 25 digs, to go with 10 kills.
DYNAMIC DUO FOR THE REDHAWKS:
Mindy Collins and Alissia Thompson have teamed up offensively and defensively to produce some impressive numbers this season. Collins has been in double figures for kills in all but four of Miami's 21 matches, recording 20-plus kills on five occasions. She also has produced double-digit totals in digs in 14 matches, surpassing 20 digs in four matches. Thompson has manufactured 10 or more kills in 19 of the 21 RedHawk contests and recorded nine kills in one other. She has amassed 20 or more kills in five matches. Over the last 12 matches, Thompson has posted double figures in digs in ten.
HERD FINDS SUCCESS ON THE ROAD:
Marshall completed its six-match road swing this weekend with a split in the state of Michigan and finished the road trip with a 4-2 mark, which put them above .500 on the road for the season with a 6-5 record. The last time Marshall had a winning record away from home was in 1996, when it went 8-5 while competing in the Southern Conference. The Herd has six of their remaining eight regular season contests at home after playing a league-low three home matches thus far.
BOBCATS NETS FIRST MAC WIN:
Ohio ended an eight-match league losing streak and nine overall when it defeated Central Michigan on the road last Friday. Katie Mullen tallied a match-high 29 kills, while teammate Amber Merrill added 20 kills. The Bobcats hit .317 for the match, the team's second-highest attack percentage for the season. In addition, setter Vicky Autrey passed out 62 assists.
LEWIS 'EN FUEGO' FOR FALCONS:
Senior outside hitter Melissa Lewis has been one of the main ingredients to the Falcons' current eight-match winning streak. Lewis has averaged 4.94 kills and 3.39 digs per game during that span and is hitting .340 (153-35-347). In addition, Lewis has registered 10 or more digs in six matches and 10-plus kills five times.
TOUGH TIMES FOR THE ROCKETS:
Toledo is having a difficult time catching a break in conference play. In their last 10 MAC matches, the Rockets have lost three of them in rally scoring, with three other contests going four games.
HUTTON TAKES CHARGE FOR EMU:
Eastern Michigan senior Jill Hutton continues her solid play on both sides of the net this week. Against Toledo, Hutton had a team-high 20 kills and 12 digs. She hit .308 in the match and added eight total blocks, including two solos, both of which were match highs. Hutton ranks in the top-10 in the league in three categories: attack percentage (.321, 7th), kills per game (3.73, 9th) and blocks per game (1.04, 10th).
KENT AND FIVE-GAME MATCHES:
Thirty-five percent of Kent's matches (7 of 20) have resulted in five-game affairs, with the Golden Flashes sporting a 5-2 record in those matches. Of Kent's seven victories in 1999, five have come from rally-scoring matches. Carrie McEnery had 20 kills and 19 digs in the team's latest five-game win versus Toledo.
BALANCED ATTACK FOR NIU:
Northern Illinois nearly pulled off an upset of Miami on the road last Saturday while sporting a balanced offensive arsenal. The Huskies were led by Jennifer VonderHaar's 11 kills, while five other NIU players had at least eight kills. Mandy Swick led the Huskies with 17 digs and Kelly Freund added 14.