MAC Announces Volleyball Players of the Week

Updated 10/11/2010

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.

East Division Offenisve Player of the Week
Liva Brivule, Kent State, Jr., MB, Riga, Latvia/Latvijas Universitate
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).


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.

East Division Defensive Player of the Week
Chelsea Harvey, Akron, Jr., 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.


Additional Nominees for Defensive Player of the Week
Alyssa Rio, Ball State, Sr., L, Wayne, Ill./St. Francis
Alyssa Rio helped the Cardinals earn a weekend MAC split by collecting a team-best 59 digs in BSU's two matches, for a 5.90 digs-per-set average. In last Thursday's win at Toledo, Rio out-dug all her competitors by at least nine, with a match-best 32 digs. She followed with a 27-dig effort Saturday at Buffalo, collecting three more than her closest rival. She also turned in a .962 (25 for 26) reception percentage at Buffalo. Toledo did not chart receptions.

Ashley Herzberg, Bowling Green, So., DS, Mentor, Ohio/Lake Catholic
Ashley Herzberg received at a team-best .960 clip and added 16 digs, tying for the team high, during two matches on the weekend. Herzberg played the libero position for the first time in 2010 against Ohio, posting 11 digs and receiving 41-of-43 serve attempts successfully. She followed that up with five digs against Kent State as a defensive specialist and was perfect in seven serve receive attempts.

Heather Pyle, Buffalo, Jr., L, Westlake, OH/Westlake
Junior Heather Pyle finished the week with 37 digs, averaging 4.62 a set, including tying her career high with 24 digs against Ball State. Pyle also had a service ace in each match this past weekend. Pyle is currently second on the team with 168 digs.

Lisa Johnson, Central Michigan, Sr., L, Alto, Mich./Lowell
Lisa Johnson averaged 5.11 digs per set last week, including a career-best 26 against Western Michigan. She finished the weekend 56-for-57 in serve receptions (.982) and helped hold the league's two top offensive units in Northern Illinois and Western Michigan to a .204 mark.

Aleksandra Nowak, Kent State, Fr., S, Damnica, Poland/Boleslawa Krzywoustiego
Nowak posted a team-best nine blocks (two solo, seven assisted), including a match-high six (one solo, five assisted) at Bowling Green as Kent State won two key MAC East road matches.

Colleen Loftus, Miami, Jr., OH/DS, Commerce Twp., Mich./Mercy
Was teams leading digger with 23 digs on weekend, despite not being the libero and playing in the front court during half of the match. She was both an offensive and defensive force in both matches, recording two double-doubles. Against Kent State she had 14 kills and 11 digs, leading Miami in both categories. Against Ohio she had 12 kills and 12 digs, again leading Miami in both categories. She also made only two reception errors the entire weekend.

Maddie Hughes, Northern Illinois, Sr., L, St. Charles, Ill./North
Senior libero Maddie Hughes (St. Charles, Ill./North) totaled an astonishing 62 digs (6.89/set) in two NIU road wins over the weekend ... Hughes also had just one error in 31 serve reception attempts ... She tallied a season-high 30 digs and 20 perfect receptions in a five-set win over Central Michigan ... In a four-set victory over Eastern Michigan, she bettered her season high with 32 digs and was successful in 10 of 11 receptions ... The back-to-back 30-dig performances marked a first for Hughes in her career, and the fourth time she has reached the plateau overall ... She has now reached double figure digs in eight straight matches, with the last four being a total of 20 or more.

Lexie Hartnett, Ohio, Fr, OH, Fairport, N.Y.
Had 12 kills, including eight in the win at Bowling Green ... Hit .444 for the weekend ... Led the team in blocks with 12, including a match-high seven against Bowling Green ... Second on the team in blocking at 1.07 per set

Lena Oliver, Western Michigan, Fr., L, Battle Creek, Mich./St. Philip Catholic Central
Freshman libero Lena Oliver had one of the best matches in Western Michigan's illustrious volleyball history with 41 digs at Eastern Michigan on Friday night. Oliver's total was the second-highest in the history of the program. She followed with 21 more digs at Central Michigan to finish the weekend with 6.89 digs per set and .965 serve reception percentage in 57 attempts. Oliver raised her season average to 5.29 digs per set in all matches and 5.65 digs per set in conference matches.

Additional Nominees for Offensive Player of the Week
Alex Cocklin, Akron, Fr., OH, Rochester, Mich./Marian

Freshman Alex Cocklin led UA on the offensive front totaling 29 kills for UA throughout the weekend. Posting only nine errors in eight sets played, Cocklin averaged 3.62 kills. Cocklin was the only Zip in double digit kills in Akron's 3-0 win, the Zips tenth straight, against Buffalo and led UA again with 14 in Akron's five set loss to Toledo. Also strong defensively, Cocklin added 16 digs and two blocks.

Kelsey Brandl, Ball State, Jr., MB, Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville North
Junior middle blocker Kelsey Brandl helped the Cardinals secure a weekend MAC split by leading the Ball State offense with 37 kills and a .272 hitting percentage. In Thursday's win at Toledo, Brandl smashed a match-best and career-high 25 kills, while hitting .422 (25-6-45). The 25 kills were nine more than the next-best attacker in the contest. She also served up an ace, while earning four blocks and four digs. Saturday at Buffalo, Brandl collected 12 kills, five total blocks (two solo and three assists) and a service ace.

Danielle Tonyan, Bowling Green, Fr., RS, McHenry, Ill./McHenry
Danielle Tonyan averaged 4.14 kills per set and a team-best 4.57 points per set in a pair of Bowling Green matches during the weekend. Along with those numbers, Tonyan hit .258 and tied a team-high with two aces. She had 16 kills, five digs, and both of her aces in a four-set loss to Ohio and then added 13 kills and tied her career high with six digs in a three-set loss to Kent State.

Kayla Govier, Buffalo, Sr., MB, Arvada, CO/Arvada West
Govier had a team-high 11 kills in UB's loss to Akron, but came back with nine kills in UB's five-set win over Ball State, including two of those in the fifth set. Govier also had 11 total blocks, including nine total blocks against the Cardinals. Govier is currently second on the team with 194 kills and 63 blocks.

Lindsey Dulude, Central Michigan, So., OH, Midland, Mich./Midland
Lindsey Dulude continued her strong play in MAC action, combining for 29 kills (3.2) and hit .264 over nine sets. The sophomore also finished a perfect 18-for-18 in service receptions, and added seven digs and four blocks. She piled up 16 kills and hit .342 against Northern Illinois, to go with two blocks and an 11-for-11 day in serve receive. The Midland, Mich., native followed the effort up with a 13 kill performance against Western Michigan.


Rachel Iaquaniello , Eastern Michigan, So., OH, Plymouth, Mich. / Dearborn Divine Child
Sophomore Rachel Iaquaniello helped power the Eagles to a 1-2 week. The Plymouth, Mich. native averaged 5.00 kills, 2.69 digs and 5.19 points per set, while hitting .209 (65-25-191). Versus Western Michigan, Oct. 8, Iaquaniello 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. She followed it up with a 22 kill performance against Northern Illinois, Oct. 9, after powering home 10 kills versus IPFW, Oct. 5.

Michele Metzler, Miami, Sr., MH, Lawrenceburg, Ind./Lawrenceburg
Michele was second on the team with 21 kills in a split weekend. She also had a team high hitting percentage of .381 and contributed two blocks. Metzler recorded 10 kills on Friday in the match against Kent State. She followed it up with 11 kills in a key victory over Ohio on Saturday. Metzler is closing in on 900 kills for her career as she is now at 877.

Sue Jacobi, Ohio, Sr., OH, Louisville, Ky./Presentation Academy
Jacobi led the team in kills this weekend with 31 ... Match-high 18 kills at Bowling Green and a match-high 13 kills against Miami ... Career-high four aces in the win at Bowling Green ... Recorded consecutive doubles-doubles with a match-high 12 digs against BG and a team-high 10 against Miami ... Had four blocks in the win over BG ... Leads the team in kills and aces for the season, second on the team in digs and block solos.

Kassie Kadera, Toledo, Jr., S, Aurora, IL
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. She also tallied 3.60 digs per set. She registered four kills in nine attacks for a .444 hitting mark to go along with 55 assists vs. the Cardinals. Against Akron, she notched four kills in six attempts for a .667 ATK% vs. the Zips as well as a season-high 64 assists and career-high 23 digs.

Taylor Richard, Western Michigan, Fr., OH, Las Vegas, Nev./Silverado
Freshman Taylor Richard had the best offensive weekend of her career on the road at in-state rivals Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan. Richard led the Broncos with 31 kills and .250 attack percentage. She also added 32 digs for the Brown & Gold. Richard started the weekend by leading WMU with career highs of 18 kills and 21 digs at Eastern Michigan. She followed with 13 kills, 11 digs and hit .306 at MAC West preseason favorite Central Michigan.