East Division Offensive Player of the Week
Abby Niekamp, Buffalo, Jr., MB, Celina, OH/Marion Local
Niekamp was named to the All-Tournament team at the Blue and White Classic finishing with 35 kills on the week. Niekamp was extremely efficent as she hit .500 in the four matches, recording just seven total errors on 56 swings. Niekamp had 12 kills twice on the week, against Binghamton and St. John's. Niekamp also added eight total blocks on the week.
West Division Offensive Player of the Week
Rachel Iaquaniello, Eastern Michigan, So., OH, Plymouth, Mich.-Dearborn Divine Child
Sophomore Rachel Iaquaniello was named the Spartan Invitational MVP as the Eagles continued to excel with a 10-1 start to the season. The Plymouth, Mich. native averaged 4.53 kills, 2.13 digs and 4.93 points per set while hitting a solid .253 in four matches from the outside. Iaquaniello's best performance of the week came in the finale against Big Ten Conference foe Michigan State, Sept. 11, when she blasted 22 kills, pulled up eight digs and blocked a pair of balls in the EMU victory. She also chipped in ad double-double with 17 kills and 10 digs in the lone setback to Clemson, Sept. 11. Iaquaniello, who was not yet one year old the last time EMU defeated MSU, has now been named the Tournament MVP at two of three invitationals that Eastern has played in during the 2010 season.
East Division Defensive Player of the Week
Kristin Bignell , Buffalo, Sr., MB/RS, Drayton, Ontario/Norwell District
Krstin Bignell led the way with 17 total blocks on the week, including a career-high 13 blocks against St. John's. Bignell's 11 block assists against the Red Storm are were just two off the school record for block assists in a four-set match. Bignell was just as impressive offensively, as she hit .354 on the week with 24 kills.
West Division Defensive Player of the Week
Haley Stein, Eastern Michigan, Jr., L, Carleton, Mich.-Monroe St. Mary's Catholic Central
Junior Haley Stein was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Spartan Invitational as the Eagles finished with a 2-1 record to claim its third-straight championship. Stein averaged 5.47 digs per set in four matches on the week. Stein's best match came against Michigan State when she pulled up a season-high 27 digs while adding three service aces on 16 serves. Stein also chipped in 23 digs against Clemson after posting 16 versus Oakland and Eastern Illinois.
Additional Nominees for Offensive Player of the Week
Chelsea Harvey, Akron, So., L, Stow, Ohio/Stow
Sophomore Chelsea Harvey posted a team-high 47 digs in the Zips second annual Akron Invitational. Playing in 11 sets, Harvey had only two errors in 53 attempts.
Alyssa Rio, Ball State, Sr., L, Wayne, Ill./St. Francis H.S.
Ball State's Alyssa Rio averaged 6.71 digs per set in the Cardinals' two matches last week . . . In Tuesday's win over IUPUI, Rio collected a match-best 19 digs and was a perfect 12-for-12 in receptions . . . In Saturday's loss at Wright State, Rio added a match-best 28 digs, while turning in a .929 (13-for-14) effort in serve receive.
Kaitlyn Schultz, Central Michigan, Jr., MB, Highland, Mich./Milford
Kaitlyn Schultz averaged 1.45 blocks per set last weekend, piling up 16 stops in 11 sets. The Chippewas' middle blocker finished with seven blocks against Milwaukee, five against Wisconsin and four against Creighton. Schultz finished with 39 points on the week, hitting .355 and averaging 2.36 kills per set.
Kristen Barr, Kent State, Sr., DS/L, Bowling Green, Ohio
Barr led the way for the Golden Flashes on the defensive end with 44.
Lisa Treadway, Miami, So., DS/L. Dayton, Ohio/Chaminade Julienne
Was the team's starting libero in three of four matches this weekend. Led the RedHawks with 40 digs, an average of 3.08 per set. Helped hold defenses to a .212 hitting percentage in four games. Had double digit digs in three games, recording 14 against Wright State and 10 each against Youngstown State and Michigan.
Maddie Hughes, Northern Illinois, Sr., L, St. Charles, Ill./North
Hughes anchored the back row for the Huskies, helping NIU win three matches at Elon Classic to claim first place at an invitational for the third consecutive weekend ... In 10 sets, she totaled 46 digs (4.60/set) and had only one reception error in 47 attempts ... In a 3-1 win over Elon, she totaled 19 digs and had one error in 26 reception attempts ... In a sweep of Liberty, she registered 13 digs and had no errors in nine reception attempts ... In a 3-0 victory over Stetson, she had 14 digs and was perfect in 12 reception attempts ... She has now reached double-figures in digs in all but three of NIU's 11 matches.
Meryl Bender, Ohio, Sr., DS, Yorktown, Ind./Yorktown
Led the team in digs and second on the team in assists ... Recorded her first collegiate double-double with 11 assists and 16 digs against nationally-ranked Tennessee ... Had a career-high 22 digs against one-loss Northwestern.
Katie Westerfeld, Toledo, Sr., L, Cincinnati, OH/Roger Bacon
Senior Katie Westerfeld led the Rockets with 3.56 digs per set last weekend at the Marquette/Milwaukee Invitational. She tallied 23 digs in UT's 3-2 win over Creighton and 17 digs in a 3-1 loss at Marquette.
Additional Nominees for Offensive Player of the Week
Morgan Kuhn, Akron, So., S, Juneau, Wisc./Dodgeland
Sophomore Morgan Kuhn was solid in all categories for the Zips at the second annual Akron Invitational last weekend. Accumulating 100 assists, 34 digs, six kills, three blocks and two service aces throughout the weekend, Kuhn averaged 9.09 assists per set. Most impressively, Kuhn had a career-high 50 assists and 20 digs in Akron's 3-2 win over Indiana State.
Noelle Spitler, Bowling Green, Sr., M, Toledo, Ohio/Notre Dame Academy
Senior middle Noelle Spitler was named to the Best Western Falcon Plaza All-Tournament team after posting 23 kills in three matches on the weekend. She hit a team-best .271 and added a team-high seven blocks during the weekend. In the Falcons' win over Cornell Friday night, Spitler had 11 kills, five digs and five blocks.
Lauren Krupsky, Central Michigan, Sr., OH, Livonia, Mich./Livonia Churchill
Lauren Krupsky averaged 4.36 kills per set and hit .298 to earn all-tournament honors at the Milwaukee/Marquette Invitational, her third all-tournament honor of the 2010 season. The senior outside hitter piled up 48 kills in all, to go with two aces, including a season-best 21 kills against Creighton. She added 16 kills against Milwaukee and 11 against Wisconsin to finish at 4.64 points per set on the weekend.
Liva Brivule, Kent State, Jr., MB, Riga, Latvia
Brivule posted 37 kills in three matches to garner Cleveland State Invitational All-Tournament Team selection.
Amy Raseman, Miami, RJr., OH, Barrington, Ill./Barrington
Amy was team leader in kills with 39 in four matches as the RedHawks had their best week of the season with three wins. She had a .363 hitting percentage, which ranked second on the team and was especially high for an outside hitter, whose hitting percentage will typically be much lower than middle hitters. Recorded career-high 13 kills against Wright State. Followed that up with nine kills vs. Chicago State, 10 vs. Youngstown State and 7 vs. Michigan. Had .667 hitting percentage against both Chicago State and Youngstown State. Also contributed 5 blocks on the weekend.
Lauren Wicinski, Northern Illinois, Fr., OH, Geneva, Ill./Geneva
Wicinski earned her third consecutive all-tournament selection as helped the Huskies go 3-0 at the Elon Classic to win NIU's third straight invitational crown in as many weekends ... She totaled team-highs of 44 points (4.40/set) and 38 kills (3.80/set), along with 22 digs (2.20/set) and five aces (0.50/set) ... In a four-set win over Elon, she hit .393 with 14 kills, two aces, and a block for 16.5 points ... In sweeping Liberty, she notched 11 kills, two aces, and a block for 13.5 points ... In a sweep of Stetson, she tallied 13 kills and one ace for 14 points, while adding 12 digs for her fifth double-double of the season ... Wicinski has had at least 13.5 points and an ace in all 11 matches, and has had double-figure kills in every match except the first of the season.
Katie Post, Ohio, Jr., OH/MB, Streamwood, Ill/Streamwood
Career-high 15 kills in match against Northwestern ... Second on the team in kills and hitting percentage during the tournament with 36 and .316 ... Accumulated 47.5 points over the weekend and led the Bobcats in service aces and blocks (13) ... Named to the all-tournament team.
Amber DeWeerdt , Toledo, Jr., OH, Plainfield, IL/North
Amber DeWeerdt led the Rockets with 2.81 kills per set at the Marquette/Milwaukee Invitational last weekend. She tallied 22 kills and a .241 hitting mark in UT's 3-2 win over Creighton and registered 15 kills and a .289 ATK% in a 3-1 loss at Marquette.
Jessica Brown, Western Michigan, So., MB, Kentwood, Mich./East Kentwood
Jessica Brown led Western Michigan with 27 kills (3.00 kps), .300 attack percentage, 30.0 points (3.33 pps) and six blocks (0.67 bps) against #3 Illinois, #7 Nebraska and #20 Dayton at the Ameritas Players Challenge in Lincoln, Neb. Brown's best match came against the third-ranked Fighting Illini with 15 kills and a .500 attack percentage.