MAC Volleyball Release

Updated 11/11/1980
MAC Pepsi Offensive Player of the Week:

Zakiya Pope, Western Michigan (So., MB)
East Lansing, Mich. (East Lansing HS)

Zakiya Pope hit .533 (27-3-45) for the week and averaged 3.86 kills and 1.29 blocks for the Broncos as they defeated Ball State and Bowling Green. Pope had 10 kills and four blocks and hit .444 in the win over the Cardinals, the team's first victory over Ball State since 1991. Pope followed that up with a career-high 17 kills and career-best .593 attack percentage against the Falcons. The sophomore also added five blocks in the triumph over Bowling Green.

MAC Pepsi Defensive Player of the Week:

Julie McDivitt, Akron (Jr., OH)
Windham, Ohio (Windham HS)

McDivitt averaged 5.13 digs and 0.63 digs per contest over the weekend, helping the Zips to a pair of road wins over Ohio and Marshall. The junior had nine kills, 10 digs and two aces in a three-game victory over the Bobcats, and followed that with a 29-dig, 12-kill and three ace performance in a five-game win against the Thundering Herd.

TEAM NOTEBOOK:

WESTERN MICHIGAN REMAINS HOT:
The Broncos opened up Mid-American Conference play this past weekend with a pair of home wins over Ball State and Bowling Green to improve its overall record to 10-3. The win over Ball State was the team's first victory against the Cardinals since 1991, breaking a streak of 14 consecutive defeats. It also marked WMU's first win at home against BSU since 1989. WMU is the first MAC school to reach double digit figures in wins this season.

NIU STRUGGLES AT HOME IN 1999:
After entering the 1999 season with a 36-game home winning streak, the Huskies are having their share of trouble at Evans Field House. Northern Illinois lost for the fourth time in five home matches against Miami on Saturday, which also had another home streak come to an end. The loss to the RedHawks was the team's first MAC defeat since Nov. 15 1985 but keep in mind that the Huskies were not a part of the league from the 1986-87 academic year to 1996-97.

ZIPS OFF TO A 2-0 MAC START BUT ...: Akron is off to its first 2-0 start in the league since 1996, but the Zips will attempt not to repeat what transpired the next five matches during that season. Akron lost its next five matches in a row and won only three of its final 15 contests in the conference. They finished the season with a 5-12 mark in the MAC, which tied for seventh.

FRIZZO HITS MILESTONE FOR HERD:
Marshall senior setter Nicole Frizzo reached another milestone over the weekend, surpassing the 4,500 assist plateau. Frizzo, who has 4,578 career assists, is the first Thundering Herd player to reach the feat and is 480 short of becoming the only player in school history to register 1,000 assists in each of her four seasons. Of Frizzo's 4,578 assists, 3,169 have come since the school joined the MAC in 1997.

ANOTHER HOME STREAK HALTED:
Miami had its program-record string of home wins come to and end at 17 consecutive triumphs in a 1-3 loss to Cincinnati on Sept. 22. The 17 wins surpassed the previous mark of 16 set from Nov. 11, 1980 to Oct. 6, 1982 when Miami played at Withrow Court. The RedHawks won 16 of their 17 home matches in 1998, going 12-0 against MAC opponents, and 14 of their 16 Millett Hall contests in 1997. Over the past five seasons (including 1999), Miami has attained an .839 win percentage (52-10) at home.

NO MIDDLE GROUND FOR MAC GAMES:

The first weekend of league play proved to be quite interesting in terms of the length of the matches. Of the first 12 matches played, 11 went either three or five games. All of Friday's contests were three-game sweeps.

KENT OPENS MAC WITH RARE ROAD WIN:
Until its sweep of Ohio on Saturday, it had been since 1995 that Kent won its opening match in MAC play. The last time the Flashes won their MAC opener on the road was 1988, a 3-2 victory over Ball State. The last time Kent won its MAC season opener in three games was 1993 against Miami in Kent. Kent had never won a MAC opener on the road in three games.

MITCHELL IS MAGIC AT NET FOR CMU:
Chippewa junior Jennifer Mitchell had a team-high 12 kills in the loss to Bowling Green along with three aces and two block solos. The middle hitter then posted a near triple-double in the five-game win over Toledo with 13 kills, 10 digs and seven blocks (two solo and five assists). The junior leads CMU in kills (3.23 kpg), blocks (0.90 bpg) and service aces (0.40 apg). She now has 36 career block solos and needs two more to move into CMU's top 10 list.

HOME AT LAST FOR BG AND UT:
Bowling Green and Toledo will finally get the chance to play a match at home and not just practice there. Each school played 12 matches away from the team's home facilities, prior to this week's home contests. The Falcons will play six of their next seven matches at home, including six straight league encounters, while the Rockets host three consecutive.

WMU'S SPREADS THE WEALTH:
In both of Western Michigan's matches over the weekend, four or more Broncos posted 10 or more kills including five against Bowling Green. In the team's first 13 matches, four of them resulted in four or more Bronco players tallying 10 or more kills, compared to seven in 32 matches in 1998.

SEEKING ITS FIRST MAC VICTORY:
Buffalo was within one game of winning its first-ever MAC match. The Bulls claimed the first two games in their conference opener versus Eastern Michigan, only to lose the match in rally scoring. Since joining the league last year, Buffalo is 0-20 in league play and will attempt to win its first this weekend against Northern Illinois and Western Michigan.

EMU OFF TO BEST START SINCE 1993:
Under the direction of fourth-year head coach Kim Berrington, Eastern Michigan's 9-4 start in 1999 is the school's best since 1993. Berrington has improved the Eagles in each of her first three years, and are closing in on last year's win total of 11.

FIVE GAME SUCCESS FOR BALL STATE:
Ball State improved to 3-0 this season in five-game matches when the Cardinals pulled out a win at Eastern Michigan. Three Cardinals -- Megan Hammons, Jaime Stanley and Julie Zylka -- each managed 22 kills in the match. The total established a career high for Stanley and tied Zylka's career best. It was the fourth time this season that Hammons has reached the 20-kill plateau. That breaks Stefanie Decker's sophomore record of three established in 1989. Stanley finished the match with a career-high 34 digs -- the second-highest total ever by a Cardinal behind only the 35 totaled by Jennifer Schilling in 1997 at Akron.

SENIOR TANDEM IGNITES MIAMI:
Miami seniors Mindy Collins and Alissia Thompson have been the RedHawks' offensive and defensive stalwarts for the majority of the season, and last week was no exception. Between the pair, they recorded 59 kills, picked up 49 digs and had 17 total blocks. Thompson had two kill-dig double doubles, while Collins was one dig shy of completing a pair herself.

BG'S PAPAGEORGIOU NETS NEW HIGH:
Junior JoAnna Papageorgiou established a career best one night in hitting percentage, then topped it the next evening. She had a .467 hitting percentage in the Central Michigan match, then followed that mark with a .480 percentage at Western Michigan. On the week, Papageorgiou hit .475 (21-2-40) with 21 kills and five blocks.

YOUNG SHOWING SHE IS NO ROOKIE:
Central Michigan freshman Jenny Young is quickly showing trying to erase the tag of being a first-year player. Young posted a match-high 25 kills in the win over Toledo and notched 10 kills and a service ace versus Bowling Green. Central's outside hitter is hitting a team-high .267. She's averaging a team-best 4.38 kills in MAC action, which is seventh in the league.

TOLEDO'S AND CMU'S BLOCK PARADE:
Toledo and Central Michigan dueled to a match that included plenty of action at the net for both teams. Though the Chippewas were on the winning side, the Rockets outblocked CMU, 11.5 total team blocks to 10. Three UT players --Lindsey Kretzmann, Cori Begle and Jessica Buck -- each had five or more blocks, led by Kretzmann's nine block assists. CMU was paced by Jennifer Mitchell's seven total blocks, followed by Jessica Rocho's four and Leslie Schroeder's three.

SCHAUB'S NUMBERS NOT TOO SHABBY:
Eastern Michigan's Sara Schaub put up some big numbers in the team's five-game win against Buffalo. The junior registered a team-high 20 digs and tied a team-best with 19 kills versus the Bulls, then closed out the weekend with 21 digs and 20 kills in a loss to Ball State.