Players of the Week (10.4.10-10.10.10)
East Division Defensive Player of the Week
Chelsea Harvey, Akron, So., L, Stow, Ohio/Stow
Starting libero Chelsea Harvey once again proved solid for UA in the backcourt against Buffalo and Toledo totaling 41 digs on the weekend. Playing in all eight sets, Harvey averaged 5.12 digs and had no reception errors.
West Division Offensive Player of the Week
Lauren Wicinski, Northern Illinois, Fr., OH, Geneva, Ill./Geneva
Freshman outside hitter Lauren Wicinski (Geneva, Ill./Geneva) came up huge in two road wins for NIU, totaling 59 points (6.56/set), 52 kills (5.78/set), and five aces (0.56/set) ... The nation's top rookie in points, kills, and aces put up 28.5, 25 ,and two, respectively, in a five-set win over Central Michigan ... She then did even better by tallying 30.5 points, 27 kills, and three aces in a four-set win against Eastern Michigan, including ending the game with four kills in a row for the Huskies ... Wicinski has had 13 or more points in all 21 matches this season and has 20 straight contests with double digit kills, including totaling 25 or more in four of her last six ... Additionally, she has served up an ace in eight consecutive matches.
West Division Defensive Player of the Week
Haley Stein, Eastern Michigan, Jr., L, Carleton, Mich. / Monroe St. Mary's Catholic Central
Junior libero Haley Stein broke the school-record for digs after recording 55 against Western Michigan, Oct. 8. The mark is also tied for fourth-most digs in NCAA Division I history in a five-set match. The previous EMU standard was set by Ashley Cudney Oct. 7, 2006, in a match against Northern Illinois University when she recorded 50. The 55 digs are also the most nationally since McNeese State University's Jessica Strama set the NCAA record of 62 against Texas-Arlington, Oct. 13, 2006. Stein also posted 27 digs versus IPFW, Oct. 5. and 26 versus Northern Illinois, Oct. 9.
West Division Team Notebooks
Junior middle blocker Kelsey Brandl and freshman outside attacker Whitney Heeres took turns leading the Cardinals in last weekend's matches, with each having a career attacking night . . . In Thursday's win at Toledo, Brandl led all players with a career-best 25 kills, while hitting for a .422 rate of success . . . Saturday at Buffalo, Heeres led the Ball State attack with a career-best 19 kills to go along with a .226 hitting effort . . . Brandl finished the week with a team-best 3.70 kills-per-set average, while Heeres followed at 3.50. BSU's defenders continued their solid play in the back row, racking up a 17.70 digs-per-set average for last week . . . NCAA digs-per-set leader Alyssa Rio continued to pace the BSU backcourt with 59 digs for a 5.90 average . . . After collecting a career-best 23 digs at Buffalo, senior Hannah Sullivan ranked second on the team with a 3.11 average for the week . . . In all, six Ball State players averaged 2.30-or-more digs per set last week.
The Chippewas suffered their third five-set loss of MAC play over the weekend against Northern Illinois ... Libero Lisa Johnson put up an outstanding weekend defensively, averaging 5.11 digs per set and finishing 56-for-57 in serve receive (.982) ... sophomore Katie Schuette is averaging 2.25 kills per set over her last three matches after sitting at 1.30 her first 14 matches ... CMU continues its four-match home stand this weekend against Bowling Green and Miami.
It was a record-setting night for the Eagles versus instate rival Western Michigan, Oct. 8. Eastern was paced offensively by sophomore outside hitter Rachel Iaquaniello, who set a Convocation Center record with 33 kills in the contest. It was also the fourth-highest total recorded by an EMU player, the most in a game for an EMU player in more than 12 years and the highest total by a player in the MAC since 2006. Just a week ago (Oct. 1), Iaquaniello turned in the best performance by an EMU player since 2006 by totaling 27 kills. In addition to Iaquaniello's record-setting day, junior libero Haley Stein broke a school-record by recording 55 digs, and also tied for fourth-most digs in NCAA Division I history in a five-set match. The previous school record was set by Ashley Cudney on Oct. 7, 2006, in a match against Northern Illinois University when she recorded 50. Ashley Mason did not let the record-setting day elude her as she tallied 68 assists, the best total in the MAC this season and the third-most in Convocation Center history. Three Eagles posted double-doubles as Iaquaniello added 18 digs to her 33 kills, Mason put up 20 digs with her 68 assists, and Paige Roback finished with 12 digs and 12 kills.
The Huskies moved into sole possession of first place in the MAC West by picking up a pair of road wins over Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan over the weekend to extend their winning streak to five matches and continue their historic season ... For the first time since 1992, NIU is 5-0 on the road ... The Huskies are 5-1 in league play, and with a five-set win over CMU, won their third straight five-set match, both haven't been done by NIU since 2006 ... Freshman outside hitter Lauren Wicinski (Geneva, Ill./Geneva) came up huge as the nation's top rookie in points, kills, and aces totaled 59 points (6.56/set), 52 kills (5.78/set), and five aces (0.56/set) ... Senior libero Maddie Hughes (St. Charles, Ill./North) totaled an astonishing 62 digs (6.89/set) to lead the back row, also committing just one error in 31 serve reception attempts.
Sophomore OH Sondra Parys played her first full match of the season on Saturday vs. Akron and responded with a career-high 27 kills in UT's 3-2 win. A 2009 MAC All-Freshman Team member, Parys has been hindered by injury and illness in the first half of the 2010 campaign. Junior Kassie Kadera registered a team-high .533 attack percentage with eight kills and no errors in 15 attacks and averaged 11.90 assists per set in the Rockets' two contests vs. Ball State and Akron last weekend. She also tallied 3.60 digs per set and registered a season-high 64 assists and career-high 23 digs in UT's 3-2 win at Akron.
The Western Michigan volleyball team split a four-match road swing with wins at Bowling Green and MAC West preseason favorite Central Michigan to remain in the hunt in the division at 4-2 entering a three-match homestand against MAC East leader Akron, Buffalo and Notre Dame. Freshmen continue to step up for the Broncos with outside hitter Taylor Richard leading the way with 31 kills over the weekend and libero Lena Oliver had 62 digs, including 41 at Eastern Michigan, the second-highest match total in program history. Junior setter Sam Viox continues to spread the ball around with 12.11 assists per set over the weekend.
East Division Team Notebooks
Akron won its tenth straight match on Thursday against Buffalo. Winning the contest in three sets, Akron was led by freshman Alex Cocklin who was the only Zip in double digit kills with 14. On Saturday the Zips fell in a tough five set match to the Rockets. Despite the loss, UA's first of the conference season, Akron proved strong at the net out blocking the Rockets 14-2. Senior Jackie Goleman led the initiative with four block assists and two solo blocks.
Bowling Green fell to 6-14 on the year and 1-5 in MAC play with losses this weekend against Ohio and Kent State ... The Falcons won the opening set against Ohio before dropping the next three. The team was then swept the next day by Kent State ... Freshmen Paige Penrod and Danielle Tonyan led the team with 30 and 29 kills, respectively ... Tonyan hit .258 and added two aces and 11 digs on the weekend ... Penrod's 239 kills are the most ever for a BGSU freshman in the first 20 matches of their career.
UB's five set win over Ball State was its first ever win against the Cardinals since joining the MAC. The win also snapped a four-match losing streak for the Bulls. Freshman Dani Reinert had a career-high 35 assists against Akron in her first match as UB's primary setter. She also added a kill and seven digs against the Zips. UB had a season-high 89 digs against Ball State. It was the third time in the last five matches that Buffalo has gone over the 80-dig mark.
The Golden Flashes (10-11, 3-3) put themselves right back in the thick of the Mid-American Conference East Division race, downing Miami 3-1 last Friday (Oct. 8) and sweeping Bowling Green (Oct. 9) for two key conference road victories. KSU won at both Miami and Bowling in the same season for the first time since 2003. The Flashes dominated both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. KSU posted a combined 103 kills in two matches for a hitting percentage of .345. The Golden Flashes continued to outblock the opposition, posting a 19-6 edge in two matches. KSU also limited Miami and Bowling Green to a combined .163 hitting percentage. The Golden Flashes take on two MAC West opponents as they continue their four-match road trip, traveling to Toledo next Friday (Oct. 15) and Ball State Saturday (Oct. 16). Both match start times are scheduled for 7 p.m.
Miami broke a four match losing streak against Ohio. Her final attack of that match was Michele Metzler's 2000th attack attempt at Miami. With rally scoring now instituted it will be difficult to break the RedHawks' all-time record of attack attempts set by Stephanie Otten (1992-95) at 4,317. Miami hits the road for the only time in October this weekend when it travels to Central and Eastern Michigan.
Sue Jacobi and Lexie Hartnett had career nights and Mandy Nichols added 12 kills as Ohio battled back after dropping the first set to win at Bowling Green, 3-1. Jacobi finished with 18 kills, a team-high 12 digs and a career-high four aces while Hartnett added eight kills and matched her career-high with seven blocks. Nichols had an outstanding game as well with big first and fourth sets. As a team, Ohio outblocked BG 12.0-5.0. Michelle Jantsch had a team-high 32 assists and Katie Post hit a team-high .417 for the match. Ohio fell on the road to Miami in four sets, 25-10, 21-25, 22-25, 20-25. The loss snapped a six-match MAC winning streak on the road and a four-match winning streak against the RedHawks. Post and Jacobi tied for the team lead with 13 kills apiece and Nichols added 11 for the ‘Cats. Post hit .407 for the match and Hartnett hit .500 despite only getting four kills. Jacobi had yet another double-double as she led the team in digs with 10. Nichols and Post tied for the team lead with six blocks apiece and Hartnett added five for the Green & White. As a team, Ohio finished with 12.5 blocks.
Liva Brivule dominated the offensive end of the floor en route to helping Kent State earn two key MAC East road wins at Miami and Bowling Green last weekend. She led the Flashes with a combined 40 kills -- including a career and team-season best 24 at Miami -- for a personal hitting percentage of 337. Brivule leads the squad with 288 kills (3.60 per set) and 16 service aces this season, ranking as one of the conference's top offensive forces. She is also pacing the Golden Flashes with 80 blocks (seven solo, 73 assisted).