MAC Announces Final Volleyball Players of the Week

Updated 11/16/2009
West Division Offensive Player of the Week
Kelsey Brandl, Ball State, So., MB, Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville North
Kelsey Brandl turned in a solid all-around effort last weekend to help the Cardinals secure the No. 8 seed and hosting rights in the 2009 Mid-American Conference Tournament. In last Thursday's win over Toledo, Brandl smashed a match-high 14 kills while hitting a match-best .522 (14-2-23). In addition, she paced all players with a six total blocks in the win over the Rockets. In Saturday's thrilling five-set win at Akron, Brandl blasted a team-best 16 kills while hitting for an impressive .536 (16-1-28) rate of success. She also added a match-best five blocks in the victory. For the week, Brandl averaged a team-best 3.75 kills-per-set average, while posting a team-high 1.38 blocks per set. She also finished the week hitting a team-high .529 (30-3-51), which was more than double the team's average of .252 for the week.

East Division Offensive Player of the Week
Michelle Jantsch, Ohio, Jr., Setter, Mission Hills, Ks./St. Teresa Academy
Jantsch recorded nine kills on 17 swings for a .529 hitting percentage, while recording an impressive 12.0 assists per set. She also had one ace, two digs and five total blocks for a well-rounded performance.

West Division Defensive Player of the Week
Caitlin Strimel, Western Michigan, Sr., Libero, Chicago, Ill./Mother McAuley
Caitlin Strimel led the WMU defense with 6.00 digs per set that helped hold CMU and EMU to .165 hitting in a pair of five-set victories on the road over the weekend. Strimel was nearly flawless on serve receive with only one error in 38 reception attempts (.974). Strimel started the weekend with 27 digs at CMU as the Chippewas hit just .128. She followed with a match-high 33 digs at EMU to hold the Eagles to .201 hitting in the victory. With her 60 digs, Strimel increased her MAC record to 2,493 digs, the fifth-highest total in NCAA history.

East Division Defensive Player of the Week
Jenny Keck, Kent State, Sr., Setter, Fort Wayne, Ind./Concordia Lutheran
It was as if senior Jenny Keck was bound and determined to record her first triple-double in the final regular season weekend of her collegiate career. After nearly accomplishing the feat with 37 assists, 10 kills and seven digs against Bowling Green, she tallied a triple-double in Kent State's upset of Miami on the RedHawks home court (in straight sets, no less). Against MU, Keck had 41 assists (13.67 per set), 13 digs (4.33 per set) and a team-high 10 blocks (3.33 per set). In the game-clinching third set, Keck contribute eight assists, two kills on three attempts, four digs and four blocks. In Kent State's marathon 31-29 in the first set, she had 20 assists, three digs, three blocks and a kill. Known for running the Kent State offense, Keck contributed greatly to the Kent State defense this week. To go along with her 78 assists and 13 kills, she was third on the week in team digs with 20 (2.5 per set) and second on the team with 12 total blocks (1.5 per set).

Additional Nominees for Offensive Player of the Week
Brionna Patterson, Akron, Sr., OH, Sandsuky, Ohio/Sandusky

Akron senior Brionna Patterson rounded out the 2009 regular-season once again leading the Zips on the offensive front. Grabbing 31 kills in eight sets adding 17 digs, Patterson finishes third in the league in kills averaging 4.00 per set.

Kaitlin Jackson, Bowling Green, Sr., OH, Toronto, Ontario/Richview Collegiate Institute
Kaitlin Jackson posted a career-high 24 kills as Bowling Green defeated Kent State on the final weekend of the regular season. Jackson's 24 kills were seven more than her previous career best and she added 11 digs, along with an ace, for her seventh double-double of the year. In that match, she hit .404 to help Bowling Green pull out the nail-biter. Two days later, she had nine kills and hit .350 in a three-set loss to MAC champion Ohio. She just missed another double-double as she added nine digs and another ace. For the week, Jackson averaged 4.12 kills per set and hit .388, adding 2.50 digs per set with a .933 serve percentage.

Kaitlyn Hurt, Central Michigan, Sr., MB, West Linn, Ore. (Southridge HS)
Kaitlyn Hurt averaged 3.25 kills and hit .360 in CMU's two matches last week. The senior totaled 26 kills and added an ace, 11 blocks (1.38) and four digs. She had 15 kills in 28 swings and added an ace and seven blocks against the Broncos, before finishing the MAC schedule with 11 kills in 22 swings and added four blocks in three sets against NIU.

Jennifer Swartz, Eastern Michigan, Jr., OH, Canton, Mich. / Westland John Glenn
Swartz racked up a team-best 23 kills and a .228 hitting percentage in eight sets during the final weekend of the regular season. She also chipped in a team-high seven blocks plus six digs on the weekend.

Arjola Prenga, Kent State, Sr., OH, Tirana, Albania
In her final two regular season matches in her Kent State career, Prenga had 36 kills and only five errors on 95 attempts for a hitting percentage of .326 (4.5 kills per set). In Saturday's match-up with with Miami, Prenga hit a draw-dropping 19 kills in 39 attempts with no attack errors for a .487 hitting percentage (6.33 kills per set). Prenga completed her 17th double-double in only 24 matches with 11 digs against Miami. She also had a double-double in a five-set thriller against Bowling Green Thursday night with 17 kills and 11 digs.

Michele Metzler, Miami, Jr., MB, Lawrenceburg, Ind./Lawrenceburg
Michele tied for team lead with 16 kills. Led team with nine kills against Ohio and followed it up with 7 more against Kent State. Hit an impressive .355 for the week. Also contributed a team leading six blocks.

Meagan Schoenrock, Northern Illinois, Sr., OH, Sylvania, Ohio/Northview
Meagan Schoenrock helped the Huskies go 1-1 over the week to earn a first round bye as the fourth seed in the MAC Tournament by totaling 30 kills (5.00/set), five blocks and one assist in six sets ... In NIU's 3-0 win at Eastern Michigan, she had 19 kills with a .319 attack percentage, an assist and four blocks ... Against Central Michigan, she had 11 kills and a block ... She finished the regular season with 15 straight double-digit kill matches.

Michelle Moore, Western Michigan, Sr., OH, Ft. Wayne, Ind./Snider
Michelle Moore led the Broncos to a pair of road victories at in-state rivals Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan with 3.90 kills per set, 4.30 points per set and .305 attack percentage. Moore had a game-high 19 kills, hit .333, five digs and two blocks at Central Michigan as WMU overcame a 0-2 deficit to defeat the Chippewas. Moore led all players again at Eastern Michigan with 20 kills, hit .275, 13 digs and four blocks. With her 39 kills, Moore moved into fourth all-time in MAC history with 1,868 kills.

Additional Nominees for Defensive Player of the Week
Chelsea Harvey, Akron, Fr., Libero, Stow, Ohio/Stow
Splitting the final weekend of league play, Akron freshman Chelsea Harvey put her stamp on the conference in the regular-season finale finishing with 34 digs in UA's five-set loss to Ball State. Totaling 53 digs, to no errors, on the weekend averaging 6.62 over eight sets, Harvey finished ninth overall in the league averaging 4.07 digs. The mark makes Harvey the only freshman to finish in the top-10 in the league.

Alyssa Rio, Ball State, Jr., Libero, Wayne, Ill./St. Francis
Alyssa Rio continued her defensive explosion for the Cardinals last weekend, racking up 49 digs for a 6.12 digs-per-set average. With her solid defensive play, the reigning MAC West Division Defensive Player of the Week helped the Cardinals secure the No. 8 seed and hosting rights for the first round of the MAC Tournament. In Thursday's win over Toledo, Rio paced all players with 23 digs over three sets. Saturday at Akron, Rio added a team-best 26 digs, while recording two service aces and a kill. With her solid effort in the BSU backcourt, Rio now ranks sixth in the league with a 3.81 digs-per-set average. With her 49 digs on the week, Rio upped her career total to 1,414.

Alex Zlabis, Bowling Green, Jr., Libero, Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton Warrenville South
Alex Zlabis reached the 30-dig club for the first time in her career and averaged 6.12 digs per set on the weekend as Bowling Green split their MAC matches for the fifth week in a row. Zlabis had 33 digs as the Falcons as the Falcons edged out Kent State in five sets at home and then added 16 more, along with an ace, in the team's three-set loss to Ohio. On the weekend, Zlabis was perfect in 35 serve receive attempts as well.

Alexis Lonneman, Central Michigan, Sr., Libero, Cincinnati, Ohio/Mount Notre Dame
Alexis Lonneman broke CMU's program record of 1,996 digs and became the first player in school history to crack 2,000 career digs. She piled up 56 digs in eight sets (7.00). The senior finished with 29 digs against against Western Michigan and added 27 in just three sets against NIU. Lonneman finished 42-of-43 in service receptions on the weekend.

Haley Stein, Eastern Michigan, So., Libero, Carleton, Mich. / Monore St. Mary's Catholic Central
Stein was clutch in both matches this weekend versus Northern Illinois and Western Michigan, racking up a team-best 33 digs.

Lisa Treadway, Miami, Fr., Libero, Dayton, Ohio/Chaminade Julienne
Held her own defensively against two strong offensive attacks this week. Made only one reception error in 52 attempts this week. Had 19 digs, an average of 3.17 digs per set.

Maddie Hughes, Northern Illinois, Jr., Libero, St. Charles, Ill./North
Maddie Hughes helped NIU go 1-1 over the week to earn a first round bye in the MAC Tournament by totaling 42 digs (7.00/set) in six sets and had just one reception error in 26 attempts ... In the Huskies' 3-0 win at Eastern Michigan, she had an astonishing 25 digs and had only one error in 10 reception attempts ... Against Central Michigan, she had 17 digs and no errors in 16 reception attempts ... She tallied double-digit digs in all but two matches over the regular season and finished with 17 in a row.

Meghan Simons, Ohio, Sr., MB, Lancaster, Ohio/Bloom Carroll
Simons recorded five total blocks and a pair of digs, while helping to hold the opposition to a .223 average. She also notched 15 kills (2.5 per set), a .345 hitting percentage and 17.5 points for the weekend.