West Division Defensive Player of the Week
Alyssa Rio, Ball State, Sr., L, Wayne, Ill./St. Francis H.S.
Behind the defensive play of Alyssa Rio, the Cardinals scored league wins over Western Michigan and Northern Illinois to claim sole possession of first place in the Mid-American Conference. Rio averaged 7.88 digs-per-set for the week, while posting a perfect 1.000 reception percentage. In Friday's victory over WMU, Rio turned in the best performance of her career, racking up a career-best 44 digs to spark BSU to its first win over the Broncos since 2006. In the fifth set alone, Rio tallied nine digs to help the Cardinals snap a seven-match losing streak to WMU. She also posted a perfect 1.000 reception percentage in the contest, passing all 16 balls served her way, while adding four assists and a service ace. In Saturday's win over NIU, Rio added 19 digs to help BSU sweep the season series versus the Huskies, while handing NIU their first league sweep of the season. Her defensive play helped limit the league's top hitting team to a .151 effort for the match. She was also perfect in eight reception attempts while adding four assists and an ace.East Division Defensive Player of the Week
Carissa McKenna, Buffalo, Fr., MB, West Bloomfield, MI/Walled Lake Northern
Carissa McKenna finished the weekend with 12 blocks, including a career-high seven blocks at Bowling Green. Against the Falcons, she had three solo blocks and four block assists. McKenna continued to shine at Miami (OH), where she added another five total blocks, including a solo. McKenna also added a career-best six kills against the RedHawks.
West Division Offensive Player of the Week
Kelsey Brandl, Ball State, Jr., MB, Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville North
Led by the offensive play of junior middle blocker Kelsey Brandl, the Cardinals posted league wins over Western Michigan and Northern Illinois to claim sole possession of first place in the Mid-American Conference for the first time since the end of the 2002 season. Brandl led the Ball State offense with 30 kills and a .396 hitting percentage, while recording a team-high three service aces. In Friday's win over Western Michigan, Brandl blasted a match-best 19 kills while hitting a match-best .419 (19-6-31) to help guide the Cardinals to their first victory over WMU since 2006. She also added four digs, an ace and a solo block to help the Cardinals snap a seven-match losing streak to the Broncos. In Saturday's win over Northern Illinois, Brandl added 11 kills and a .364 (11-3-22) hitting percentage. She also added a pair of service aces, including a match-winning blast to secure a season sweep of the Huskies. Her three blocks in the contest tied for match-high honors.
East Division Offensive Player of the Week
Katie Post, Ohio, Jr., OH, Streamwood, Ill.
Katie Post finished second on the team with nine kills, hit .467 and amassed a career-high five aces, three in the third set alone in the win over Kent State ... She also notched a match-high five blocks against the Golden Flashes ... Post wound up hitting .545 on 22 attempts and garnering 15 kills against Eastern Michigan ... Finished the weekend with double-digit kills in both wins and hitting .514 ... Also added six aces (tops on the team) and finished second on the team with nine blocks and 34.5 points.
Additional Nominees for Defensive Player of the Week
Alex Cocklin, Akron, Fr., OH, Rochester, Mich. (Marian)
Freshman Alex Cocklin led UA in the backcourt this weekend accumulating a team-high 28 digs in nine sets played. Averaging 3.11 digs per set, Cocklin had just 13 errors on 69 attempts. Adding two blocks on the weekend, Cocklin was also strong offensively posting 17 kills.
Paige Penrod, Bowling Green, Fr., LS, Circleville, Ohio/Logan Elm
Paige Penrod led BGSU in serve receive percentage and added 20 digs and five blocks as the Falcons split two matches during the final home weekend of the 2010 regular season. Penrod was 39-of-40 on serve receive for a .975 percentage and added 2.22 digs per set. She had a double-double with 11 kills, 13 digs, five aces, and four blocks in the team's five set loss to Akron. She also set a career-high one night earlier with 25 kills in a four-set win over Buffalo.
Lisa Johnson, Central Michigan, Sr., L, Alto, Mich. (Lowell HS)
Libero Lisa Johnson averaged 3.0 digs per set and finished a perfect 45-for-45 in service receptions in CMU's eight sets last week. The senior had 16 digs against Eastern Michigan in five sets and she added eight more in a sweep over Kent State.
Kristen Baker, Eastern Michigan, So., MB, Mentor, Ohio / Mentor
Sophomore Kristen Baker led the EMU defense with a team-best 11 blocks on the week, while also averaging 1.67 kills and 2.56 points per set. Versus CMU, Baker finished with five block assists and then notched five block solos and one block assist at Ohio.
Kathy Krupa, Kent State, So., MB, Burbank, Ill./Reavis
Krupa earned the starting nod in both matches for the Golden Flashes last weekend and delivered a personal season-best six blocks (six solo) against Ohio Thursday (Oct. 28).
Madison Hardy, Miami, Fr., OH/DS, Louisville, Ky./Mercy Academy
Served as team's libero for both matches over weekend. She led the RedHawks with 30 digs, an impressive average of 5.00 digs per set. She made only four reception errors all weekend. Recorded 14 digs in win against Akron on Friday. She followed it up with a team leading 16 digs against Buffalo on Saturday. Hardy now has double digit digs in four consecutive games.
Maddie Hughes, Northern Illinois, Sr., L, St. Charles, Ill./North
Senior libero Maddie Hughes led the Huskies in digs over the weekend, tallying a team-high 34 (4.25/set), including her fourth match of 25-plus digs with 29 against Ball State. She has now had double-digit digs in all but six of NIU's 27 matches.
Lexie Hartnett, Ohio, Fr., MB, Fairport, N.Y.
Lexie Hartnett had one of her best games as a Bobcat, hitting .333 on 18 attempts and a match-high six blocks in the win over Eastern Michigan ... Also had a match-high five blocks in the win over Kent State ... For the weekend, led the team in blocks with 11 and had 13 kills, averaging 9.25 points per match for the Bobcats.
Katie Westerfeld, Toledo, Sr., L, Cincinnati, OH/Roger Bacon
Senior Katie Westerfeld helped Toledo register a pair of upsets last weekend against MAC West Division leader Northern Illinois and defending MAC West champ Northern Illinois. Westerfeld averaged 5.33 digs per set during the two matches tallied 25 against the Huskies and 23 vs. the Broncos. In the Rockets' win over NIU, Westerfeld came up big late to help UT rally from a 2-0 deficit. She tallied six digs in Set 4 and seven digs in Set 5. Against WMU, she helped Toledo hold the Broncos' high-powered attack to a .115 hitting mark, including a -.043 ATK% in the last two sets. She tallied six or more digs in three of the sets, including eight in Set 4.
Ashley Turnage, Western Michigan, Jr., MB, Schoolcraft, Mich./Lawton
Junior middle blocker Ashley Turnage led Western Michigan with nine blocks (1.00 blocks/set) over the course of two MAC road matches. She led all players with five blocks and added five digs at Ball State. Turnage came back and set a career high with three solo blocks on her way to four total blocks at Toledo. Turnage was also effective offensively with team highs of 25 kills and .444 attack percentage.
Additional Nominees for Offensive Player of the Week
Tina Dimitrijevs, Akron, Jr., MB, Broadview Heights, Ohio (North Royalton)
Junior Tina Dimitrijevs continued to be dominant at the net this weekend posting a .444 hitting percentage in nine sets played. Accumulating a team-high 27 kills on 45 attempts to only seven errors, Dimitrijevs also added ten blocks, including two solo. Dimitrijevs' best contest came against Bowling Green where she posted a team-high 13 kills for a .429 hitting percentage while adding nine blocks.
Danielle Tonyan, Bowling Green, Fr., RS, McHenry, Ill./McHenry
Danielle Tonyan had 33 kills and hit .296 as Bowling Green split a pair of conference matches during the Falcons' final home weekend of the season. In a four-set win over Buffalo Friday night, Tonyan had 16 kills and hit .355 for BGSU. In Saturday's five-set Senior Day loss to Akron, she had a match-high 17 kills and hit .250.
Abby Niekamp, Buffalo, Jr., MB, Celina, OH/Marion Local
Abby Niekamp led the Bulls this past weekend with 21 kills as she was extremely efficent on her 34 total attempts. In seven total sets this past weekend, Niekamp had just one total error, hitting .588. Niekamp also had a service ace and two total blocks. In the win over Miami, Niekamp hit .615 as she had nine kills and just one error on 13 attacks. Against the Falcons, she had 12 kills and no errors as she hit .571. Niekamp currently leads the Bulls in hitting percentage.
Kaitlyn Schultz, Central Michigan, Jr., MB, Highland, Mich./Milford
Kaitlyn Schultz continued her second-half surge with another strong week. The junior finished with 2.88 kills per set and hit .320 with three aces, 10 digs and five blocks to average a team-best 3.56 points per set. Schultz finished with 16 kills and hit .306 with an ace, seven digs and two blocks against Eastern Michigan, and added seven kills, two aces and three blocks while hitting .371 in a sweep over Kent State.
Jenn Swartz , Eastern Michigan, Sr., MB, Canton, Mich. / Westland John Glenn
Senior Jenn Swartz led the Eagles offensively, averaging 2.56 kills, 1.00 digs, 0.44 blocks and 2.83 points per set while hitting .259 (23-8-58). Swartz posted 11 kills, four digs and a block in the five-set thriller at Central Michigan. She followed it up with 12 kills, five digs and a pair of blocks versus Ohio.
Meredith Paskert, Kent State, So., MB, Brecksville, Ohio/Brecksville-Broadview Heights
Paskert matched the team lead in kills against both Ohio (Oct. 28) and Central Michigan (Oct. 30) last weekend, tallying 11 and seven, respectively.
Cassie Farrell, Miami, Jr., MB, Columbus, Ohio/Bishop Watterson
Cassie was most consistent attacker this weekend with a .421 hittinger percentage. She finished second on the team with 17 kills. Was also the teams top blocker with eight blocks (one solo seven assisted) for an average of 1.14 blocks per set. Recorded eight kills and six blocks in win against Akron on Friday. Followed with team high nine kills against Buffalo on Saturday.
Sarah Angelos, Northern Illinois, Fr., MB, Waukegan, Ill./Waukegan
Freshman middle blocker Sarah Angelos (Waukegan, Ill./Waukegan) led the Huskies in hitting percentage (.429) and ranked second in points with 19.5 (2.44/set) over the weekend ... She only had two errors in 35 attack attempts. Against Toledo, she hit a sterling .588 with 11 kills, marking her sixth match with double digit kills.
Bailey Blank, Toledo, So., MB, Grand Rapids, MI/Grand Rapids
Sophomore Bailey Blank helped Toledo register a pair of upsets last weekend against MAC West Division leader Northern Illinois and defending MAC West champ Northern Illinois. Blank posted a team-high .375 attack percentage and averaged 2.33 kills per set during the two matches and registered a career-high six blocks against the Broncos. Blank was equally effective in both contests, hitting .368 with 10-3-19 totals vs. NIU and .381 with 11-3-21 totals vs. WMU.
Ashley Turnage, Western Michigan, Jr., MB, Schoolcraft, Mich./Lawton
Junior middle blocker Ashley Turnage led Western Michigan with 25 kills and a .444 attack percentage in a pair of road conference matches. She had 14 kills and hit .367 against Ball State and then hit .600 with 11 kills at Toledo.