MAC Announces Volleyball Players of the Week

Updated 9/27/2010
West Division Offensive Player of the Week
Jessica Brown, Western Michigan, So., MB, Kentwood, Mich./East Kentwood

Jessica Brown was the top offensive player at University Arena in a pair of sweeps by the Broncos to open Mid-American Conference play. Brown hit .472 and averaged 4.67 kills and 5.17 points per set over the course of the minimum six sets. Brown started the weekend against Toledo with 13 kills on a .478 attack percentage and then increased her production against Ball State with 15 kills on a .467 attack percentage with four digs and four blocks.

East Division Offensive Player of the Week
Courtney Jarvis, Akron, Jr., OH, Amherst, Ohio (Amherst Steele)
Junior Courtney Jarvis once again led the Zips in their straight set sweeps over Bowling Green and Miami (Ohio). Striking a .373 hitting percentage through both, Jarvis had a team-leading 25 kills (4.17 K/S) to only three errors on 59 attempts. Defensively accumulating 13 digs and two blocks, Jarvis also added five service aces which all game in Akron's win over Miami. The league opening sweep was the first time since 2002 UA has opened up Mid-American Conference play 2-0.

West Division Defensive Player of the Week
Alyssa Rio, Ball State, Sr., L, Wayne, Ill./St. Francis

Senior libero Alyssa Rio turned in a pair of solid back-court performances in helping guide the Cardinals to a 1-1 record to open league play last weekend, racking up 55 digs for a 6.88 digs-per-set average . She also ended the week with four aces and a .977 (42 for 43) reception percentage. In the thrilling come-from-behind win over Northern Illinois, Rio brought up a match-best 28 digs, 10 more than her closest competitor . She also served up three aces in the victory, including one in the fifth set, while logging a .952 (20 for 21) reception percentage . Rio followed that performance with a match-best 27 digs (9.00 digs-per-set) average at Western Michigan, tallying seven more digs than her closest rival. She also added an ace and four assists in the win, while posting a perfect 1.000 (22 for 22) reception percentage.

East Division Defensive Player of the Week
Paige Penrod, Bowling Green, Fr., LS, Circleville, Ohio/Logan Elm

Freshman Paige Penrod had 34 digs and five blocks as Bowling Green split two matches to open conference play this weekend. Penrod had a career-high 19 digs in the five set victory over Buffalo and she added 14 kills in that win. She led the team with 23 kills on the weekend.

Additional Nominees Defensive Players of the Week
Chelsea Harvey, Akron, Sr., L, Stow, Ohio/Stow

Sophomore Chelsea Harvey led UA defensively leading UA over Bowling Green and Miami. Totaling 24 (4.00 D/S) digs on the weekend, Harvey also added two service aces and a kill in six sets played.

Kristin Bignell, Buffalo, Sr., MB/RS, Drayton, Ontario/Norwell District
Bignell led the Bulls in blocking again this past weekend with 15 total blocks including three solos. All three solo blocks came in UB's five-set match against Bowling Green where she also had six block assists. Bignell also 18 kills on the week, inlcuding eight against the Falcons and six earlier in the week against Canisius. Bignell currently leads the Bulls in blocking.

Lisa Johnson, Central Michigan, Sr., Alto, Mich./Lowell
Lisa Johnson finished with 36 total digs on the opening weekend of MAC play (3.6/set). She finished with 22 digs and a perfect 22-for-22 day in serve receive against the Eagles and followed it up with a 40-for-42 serve receive effort and 14 digs against Ohio.

Haley Stein, Eastern Michigan, Jr., L, Carleton, Mich. / Monroe St. Mary's Catholic Central
Junior Haley Stein averaged 6.00 digs per set in three matches on the week. Stein's best match came in the five-set victory over preseason MAC West favorite Central Michigan, Sept. 23, when she finished with 34 digs. Versus Youngstown State, she recorded 12 digs before following that up with 20 against Kent State.

Kristen Barr, Kent State, Sr., L/DS, Bowling Green, Ohio/Bowling Green
Barr posted 18 digs in two matches for the Golden Flashes last week.

Maddie Hughes, Northern Illinois, Sr., L, St. Charles, Ill./North
Senior libero Maddie Hughes anchored the back row as NIU went 2-1 on the week, totaling 45 digs (4.09/set), committing no errors in 38 serve reception attempts, and helping hold opponents to a .169 attack percentage ... She tallied 12 digs in a sweep of DePaul and eight perfect serve receptions ... Against Ball State, Hughes registered 18 digs and was flawless in 24 receptions ... In a sweep of Toledo for NIU's first conference win, she notched 15 digs and no errors in six receptions ... She now has four straight matches with double-figure digs and 12 overall on the year.

Lexie Hartnett, Ohio, Fr., MB, Fairport, N.Y./Fairport
Came up one kill short of her career-high with eight in a win at MAC favorite CMU ... Also collected five blocks, hit .353 and scored 11 points for the Bobcats in the match ... Fourth on the team this weekend in kills and points but lead the squad in blocks ... Hartnett was ranked fourth in the MAC with 51.0 total blocks heading into the weekend.

Lena Oliver, Western Michigan, Fr., L, Battle Creek, Mich./St. Philip Catholic Central
Freshman Lena Oliver patrolled the back row to the tune of 5.67 digs per set (34 total) and zero reception errors in 42 attempts as Western Michigan didn't drop a set in defeating Toledo and Ball State to open conference play. Oliver's defense led to Western Michigan holding opponents to a .161 attack percentage, including 40 attack errors. Oliver started the weekend with 14 digs and went 23-of-23 in serve receive against the Rockets. She followed that with her fourth 20-dig match of the season and went 19-of-19 in serve receive against the Cardinals. Oliver has reached double-digit kills in every match this season and ranks among the conference leaders with 5.17 digs per set.


Additional Nominees for Offensive Player of the Week
Kelsey Brandl, Ball State, Jr., MB, Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville North
Junior middle blocker Kelsey Brandl paced the Ball State offense with 35 kills and a 4.38 kills-per-set average, while posting an impressive .468 (35-6-62) attack percentage . . . She also tallied five digs, four block assists and an ace . . . In the Cardinals' five-set victory at Northern Illinois, Brandl led the Cardinals with 19 kills while hitting at a .567 (19-2-30) clip . . . She added three blocks and a pair of digs in helping BSU rally from a 2-1 hole to win the match . . . In Saturday's three-set loss at Western Michigan, Brandl paced all players with a match-high 16 kills, while hitting for a .375 (16-4-32) rate of success . . . She added three digs, a block and an ace versus the Broncos.

Noelle Spitler, Bowling Green, Sr., MB, Toledo, Ohio/Notre Dame Academy
Senior middle Noelle Spitler had 14 kills, hit .244, and added a team-high seven blocks as Bowling Green split two matches to open conference play. Spitler had the highest attack percentage on the team and also had 18 serves without an error.

Dana Musil, Buffalo, Fr., OH, Vancouver, BC/South Delta
Freshman Dana Musil led the Bulls with 39 kills this past weekend, while also adding 29 digs defensively. Musil had career highs of 15 kills and 15 digs in UB's five-set match on Bowling Green. In the three-set victories over Canisius and Miami, Musil had 12 kills and seven digs, while also adding three service aces against the RedHawks. Musil also had a career-high four total blocks against BG. She currently leads the team with 190 kills and 33 service aces.

Lindsey Dulude, Central Michigan, So., OH, Midland, Mich./Midland HS
Lindsey Dulude put together a breakout week, averaging 2.8 kills per set and hitting .284 against Eastern Michigan and Ohio. The sophomore had a double-double in both matches with 14 kills in each match, 16 digs against EMU and 13 digs against OU. She also chipped in four blocks and an ace in each contest for a total of 35.5 points on the opening weekend of MAC play.

Rachel Iaquaniello, Eastern Michigan, So., OH, Plymouth, Mich. / Dearborn Divine Child
Sophomore Rachel Iaquaniello helped power the Eagles to a 3-0 week, as Eastern Michigan finally opened the home portion of its schedule. The Plymouth, Mich. native averaged 3.91 kills, 1.91 digs and 4.09 points per set, while hitting .282 (43-14-103). In a five-set victory over preseason MAC West favorite Central Michigan, Sept. 23, Iaquaniello posted 20 kills, nine digs and a .319 attack percentage. It marked the second-time in 2010 that Iaquaniello had hit the 20-kill plateau. She followed that up with a double-double against Kent State, Sept. 25, with 11 kills and 10 digs. Versus Youngstown State, Iaquaniello notched 12 kills, two digs and two block assists.

Liva Brivule, Kent State, Jr., MB, Riga, Latvia/Latvijas Universitate
Brivule led the Golden Flashes with 22 kills in two matches last weekend.

Lauren Wicinski, Northern Illinois, Fr., OH, Geneva, Ill./Geneva
Freshman outside hitter Lauren Wicinski led the Huskies to a 2-1 record on the week by compiling 64 kills (5.82/set), a .317 attack percentage, seven aces, and four blocks for 74.5 points (6.77/set) ... Wicinski posted 17 kills and hit .343 in a sweep of DePaul, along with one ace and 12 digs ... She totaled a season-high 28 kills against Ball State, adding two aces, three blocks, and 11 digs for her seventh double-double of the season ... In a sweep of Toledo, she notched 19 kills and hit .441, serving up four aces as well ... Wicinski now has 16 consecutive matches with 10 or more kills and four in a row with at least one ace.

Mandy Nichols, Ohio, Sr., OH, Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove
Tied career-highs with 13 kills, 10 digs and two service aces in a win over MAC favorite CMU ... Hit .300 for the match and attained the first double-double of her career ... Second on the team in kills (20) this weekend and third in points (23.5) and fourth in digs (13).