Co-West Division Offensive Players of the Week
Rachel Iaquaniello, Eastern Michigan, So., OH, Plymouth, Mich. / Dearborn Divine Child
Sophomore Rachel Iaquaniello helped power the Eagles to a 2-1 week. The Plymouth, Mich. native averaged 5.00 kills, 2.50 digs and 5.25 points per set, while hitting .277 (50-14-130). In a four-set victory over Toledo, Oct. 1, Iaquaniello blasted at Savage Arena. Iaquaniello's 27 kills is the fourth-best total among MAC players this season and the most kills recorded in a four-set match by any player in the conference since 2006. Her total is, however, the second-highest number of kills recorded in a MAC match this season. Besides being a career-best, Iaquaniello's 27 markers are also the most by an EMU student-athlete since Lindsay Piccolini notched 28 against Western Michigan, Sept. 23, 2006. She also finished with 13 kills at Wright State, Sept. 10, and 10 in the setback at Ball State, Oct. 2. Iaquaniello is now just 10 put-a-ways shy of 700 in her short career.
Lauren Wicinski, Northern Illinois, Fr., OH, St. Charles, Ill./North
Freshman outside hitter Lauren Wicinski (Geneva, Ill./Geneva) paced the Huskie offense as NIU posted two five-set wins over the week to mark its third consecutive league win ... Wicinski totaled a team-best 47 kills (4.70/set) and .321 attack percentage, while also adding 18 digs (1.80/set), two aces, and four blocks for 52 points (5.20/set) ... Wicinski netted double digits in kills in both matches to extend her streak of having 10 or more kills to 18 matches ... She notched a season-high 29 kills at home against Western Michigan with a .309 hitting percentage, while also adding 12 digs, three blocks and an ace for her eighth double-double ... She hit .342 with 19 kills, one block and an ace versus Miami (Ohio).
West Division Defensive Player of the Week
Alyssa Rio, Ball State, Sr., L, Wayne, Ill./St. Francis
Ball State senior libero Alyssa Rio continued her defensive dominance last weekend as the Cardinals earned league wins over Central Michigan (3-1) and Eastern Michigan (3-0). Rio collected 26 digs in each contests, finishing the week with a 7.43 digs-per-set average to raise her league-leading season average to 5.95. In the win over CMU, her 26 digs were 12 more than her closest competitor and helped BSU limit the CMU to a season-low .106 attack percentage. In the victory over Eastern Michigan, Rio's 26 digs were seven more than her closest competitor and helped limit the Eagles to their third-lowest offensive mark of the season at .130. Rio also handed out eight assists, collected an ace and posted a .935 (27 for 29) reception percentage in the two contests.
East Division Offensive Player of the Week
Danielle Tonyan, Bowling Green, Fr., RS, McHenry, Ill./McHenry
Danielle Tonyan set a career high with 17 kills in a four-set loss to Miami (Ohio) Thursday and then re-set it with 23 kills in just three sets against Western Michigan. Tonyan hit .443 on the week, pounding out a .367 percentage against Miami and then hitting at a .500 clip against Western Michigan. The 23 kills against the Broncos were the most for a BGSU player in any match this year.
East Division Defensive Player of the Week
Chelsea Harvey, Akron, So., L, Stow, Ohio/Stow
Sophomore libero Chelsea Harvey led UA in the backcourt this weekend averaging 4.50 digs per set. Totaling 45 overall with only one error, Harvey and the Zips out dug their opponents this weekend in their five set wins over Ohio and Kent State. Harvey's best match came in Akron's first win over Ohio since 2003 where she registered 25 digs. Harvey also added five assists and two service aces.
Additional Nominees for Player of the Week
Morgan Kuhn, Akron, So., S, Juneau, Wisc./Dodgeland
Sophomore setter Morgan Kuhn was the glue that held it all together this weekend in Akron's five set victories over Ohio and Kent State. Posting 85 assists (8.50 A/S) adding 30 digs, seven kills and three assists, Kuhn led a balanced attack for the Zips leading four players in both contests to double-figure kills. Kuhn's most impressive match came in Akron's first win over Ohio since 2003 where she registered 50 assists, 14 digs, two service aces and one kill.
Whitney Heeres, Ball State, Fr., OH, Flushing, Mich./Flushing Senior
Freshman outside attacker Whitney Heeres played a large role in helping the Cardinals score divisional wins over CMU and EMU last weekend, leading the BSU attack with 24 kills and a 3.43 kills-per-set average. She also hit .274 (24-7-62) for the week. In the win over Central Michigan, Heeres tied for team-high honors with 13 kills while hitting .290 (13-4-31). Against Eastern Michigan, Heeres once again tied for match-high honors with 11 kills while hitting .258 (11-3-31).
Kaitlyn Schultz, Central Michigan, Jr., MB, Highland, Mich./Milford
Kaitlyn Schultz finished with 19 kills in seven sets (2.7/set) and hit .277 on the weekend in a pair of league matches, adding eight blocks to finish with 25.0 points on the weekend. The junior middle blocker finished with nine kills in four sets against Ball State and 10 kills in three sets against Toledo.
Liva Brivule, Kent State, Jr., MB, Riga, Latvia/Latvijas Universitate
Brivule was again the offensive catalyst for the Golden Flashes, totaling 34 kills in two matches last weekend. She posted a team season-best eight double-doubles this season, including two straight against Buffalo and Akron. Brivule recorded 20 kills and 12 digs against the Zips a day after totaling 14 kills and 14 digs against the Bulls. She also achieved the feat Sept. 10 vs. Morgan State (15 kills, 10 digs), Sept. 14 at Youngstown State (14 kills, 11 digs), Sept. 17 against Duquesne (22 kills, 11 digs), Sept. 18 against Louisiana Monroe (11 kills, 11 digs) and Syracuse (20 kills, 14 digs) and Sept. 25 at Eastern Michigan (12 kills, 11 digs). Brivule is pacing KSU with 248 kills (3.40 per set) and 15 service aces.
Michele Metzler, Miami, Sr., MH, Lawrenceburg, Ind./Lawrenceburg
Was team's leading hitter by far this week as she put down 29 kills, an average of 3.22 per set. She hit an incredible .634 for the week, putting down her 29 kills in only 41 attack attempts. She also made only three errors on the week. Metzler was the leading hitter with 13 kills in Miami's 3-1 win over Bowling Green on Thursday. She followed it up with 16 kills, only one off her career-high, in five set loss to Northern Illinois on Sunday.
Katie Post, Ohio, Jr., OH/MB, Streamwood, Ill./Streamwood
Second on the team with 14 kills, five blocks and 19.5 points and led the team with three aces in a loss to Akron ... Led the team with 15 kills, a .545 hitting percentage, four blocks and 18 points in the win against Buffalo ... Passed Ellen Herman on the all-time blocks list
Jessica Brown, Western Michigan, So, MB, Kentwood, Mich./East Kentwood
Jessica Brown averaged 4.25 kills and 4.56 points per set, while hitting .419 to lead the Western Michigan offense. Brown's highlight came on Saturday when she led WMU to a 3-0 victory on the road at Bowling Green with a season-high 19 kills and tied her season high by hitting .500 for the third time this season. She also added two blocks to account for 20 points. Brown started the week by hitting .333 at Northern Illinois with 15 kills, three blocks and two digs.
Additional Nominees for Defensive Player of the Week
Ashley Dunn, Bowling Green, Fr., L, Bowling Green, Ohio/Bowling Green
Freshman libero Ashley Dunn led Bowling Green with 39 digs in two matches this week and she added a team-best .957 serve receive percentage in 46 reception attempts. Dunn came up just two digs shy of her career high with 24 in a four-set loss to Miami, adding five assists and posting a perfect serve receive percentage in 24 attempts. She then followed that up with her 10th consecutive match with at least 12 digs, posting 15 in a three-set loss to Western Michigan.
Lisa Johnson, Central Michigan, Sr., L, Alto, Mich/Lowell
Senior libero Lisa Johnson backboned the Central Michigan defense last week, finishing with 31 digs in seven sets (4.4/set) and ended 27-for-30 in receptions in the two matches. She finished with 17 digs in three sets against the Rockets and 14 digs against the Cardinals.
Paige Roback, Eastern Michigan, Fr., OH, Maumee, Ohio / Notre Dame Academy
Freshman Paige Roback averaged 3.80 digs, 2.30 kills, 0.30 service aces and 0.10 blocks per set during the week. The Maumee, Ohio native had be best match in the defensive struggle at Ball State, Oct. 3, when she posted her seventh career double-double with 11 kills and 18 digs. The 18 digs were a career-best.
Celia Sabo, Kent State, Sr., MB, Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Marian
Sabo posted a team-best seven blocks this weekend as the Flashes outblocked the opposition, 27-11. She leads the team with 52 total blocks (four solo, 48 assisted) on the season. The Flashes are among the top 35 teams in the nation in blocking, holding a 184.5-108.5 edge in the category.
Colleen Loftus, Miami, Jr, OH/DS, Commerce Twp., Mich/Mercy
Colleen was the leading defensive player on the week with 25 digs. That was done despite not playing as a libero and playing half of each match in the front court. She made only two reception errors on 30 attempts. She also contributed with 15 kills and three blocks.
Lexie Hartnett, Ohio, Fr., MB, Fairport, N.Y./Fairport
Had 10 kills and led the team with a .368 hitting percentage in the match with Akron ... Also finished with four blocks and 12.0 points in the match ... Led the team with four blocks against Buffalo
Maddie Hughes, Northern Illinois, Sr., L, St. Charles, Ill./North
Senior libero Maddie Hughes (St. Charles, Ill./North) was the leading defender for the Huskies over the week as they picked up two five-set victories to give them three straight MAC wins ... In holding opponents down to a .216 attack percentage, Hughes totaled 49 digs (4.90/set) and had only two errors in 46 serve reception attempts ... By reaching double figures in digs in each match, she extended her streak of 10 or more digs to six matches ... In a home win over Western Michigan, Hughes notched a season-high 27 digs and had one error in 21 receptions ... She then tallied 22 digs in a road win against Miami (Ohio) and had one error in 25 receptions.
Allyson Doyle, Western Michigan, Sr., OH, Battle Creek, Mich./St. Philip Catholic Central
Allyson Doyle averaged 2.62 digs, 2.38 kills, 1.12 assists, 0.38 blocks and 0.38 aces per set for Western Michigan in a pair of road matches. Doyle was also strong in serve receive by successfully passing 36-of-37 serves. She started the week by posting a double-double of 10 kills, 10 digs, five assists, career-high three aces and one block at Northern Illinois. She came back against Bowling Green to tally 11 digs, nine kills, four assists and two blocks. Doyle became only the fourth player in school history to surpass 1,400 career digs (1,418) and she is one of only 12 players in school history with 300 or more total blocks (310).