East Division Offensive Player of the Week
Tina Dimitrijevs, Akron, R-Sr., MB, Broadview Heights, Ohio/North Royalton HS
Tina Dimitrijevs was the offensive catalyst over the course of a banner weekend for the Akron volleyball team. The middle blocker far exceeded her season averages, posting 4.88 kills per game over the course of eight sets with a .485 hitting percentage. Entering the weekend, she needed just 10 kills to reach 900 for her career, and she delivered 39 in two matches. In the Zips’ five set come-from-behind victory over Miami, which was No. 700 for the program as a whole, Dimitrijevs exploded for a career-high 25 kills with only three errors to hit .524. Dimitrijevs has recorded hitting percentages over .400 in nine out of Akron’s 16 matches so far this season, and seven out of those nine times have been .500 or higher. In both matches combined, she also added two of the 16 service aces she has collected this year, as well as four total blocks, including three solo, to average 5.56 points per set.
East Division Tri-Defensive PLayer of the Week
Ashley Dunn, Bowling Green, Jr., L, Bowling Green, Ohio/Bowling Green
Junior libero Ashley Dunn averaged 6.57 digs per set and was perfect in 30 serve receive attempts as BGSU improved to 4-0 in MAC play with a sweep at Akron and a four-set win at Buffalo. Dunn had 19 digs in the three-set win over Akron and had no errors in 16 serve receive attempts. She added two aces and three assists in the victory. The next night, Dunn posted a career-high 27 digs and was perfect in 14 serve receive attempts in a four-set win over Buffalo. Dunn had another ace in that contest.
Kelly Svoboda, Buffalo, Jr., L, Cleveland, OH/Trinity
Junior libero Kelly Svoboda averaged an impressive 6.71 digs per set this past weekend as the Bulls split with Miami and Bowling Green. In the loss to the Falcons, Svoboda finished with a career-high 31 digs, becoming the first UB player with more than 30 digs in a match since 2009. Svoboda actually had 29 digs through three sets in that match, including 11 in the opening set. Svoboda added 16 digs on Friday night in the win over Miami, leading all Buffalo players. She was also perfect in serve receptions this past weekend as she played all 50 balls served to her without recording an error.
Meredith Ashy, Ohio, Fr., L, Louisville, Ky./Sacred Heart Academy
Meredith Ashy continued her impressive start as she helped the Bobcats sweep the weekend against Kent State and Eastern Michigan. The freshman surpassed 20 digs for the fourth and fifth time this season, leading the squad in digs for the weekend. After 20 digs in a win over the Golden Flashes , she did one better and notched 21 in a sweep of EMU. The total against the Eagles was the best three-set performance by a Bobcat this season. Heading into the weekend, Ashy was one of the league leaders in digs at 4.44 digs per set
West Division Offensive Player of the Week
Kelly Maxwell, Central Michigan, Jr., S, Okemos, Mich./Okemos
Central Michigan junior Kelly Maxwell guided the Chippewas’ to dominant sweeps of Eastern Michigan and Kent State over the weekend to help the Maroon and Gold earn their best start in conference play since 2009. The junior setter averaged 14.33 assists per set in the two matches, coming just eight shy of the CMU three set record Thursday night versus the Eagles with 47 total. She continued the stellar play Saturday night at Kent State, totaling 39 versus the Golden Flashes while leading the Chippewas to a .348 hitting percentage. Maxwell, who ranked 30th in the country in assists per set in last week’s rankings, increased her assists per set average to 11.66.
West Division Defensive Player of the Week
Angie White, Central Michigan, Fr., MB, Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Academy of the Sacred Heart
Freshman middle blocker showed that she is already one of the most dominant middles in the Mid-American Conference, leading Central Michigan to sweeps of Eastern Michigan and Kent State over the weekend. White nearly set a new CMU three-set record for block assists Thursday versus in-state foe Eastern Michigan, finishing the evening just one shy with six total. She also finished with nine kills versus EMU. The freshman continued her blocking ways in a three-set sweep of the Golden Flashes Saturday night, tallying five blocks (2 solo, 3 assists) and 10 kills, while also digging a season-high four balls in transition.
Jill Paluch. Akron, Jr., DS, Chicago, Ill./Nazareth Academy
A large part of Akron’s offensive success last weekend can be credited to the Zips’ libero, Jill Paluch. In two matches against Bowling Green and Miami, she posted a total of 31 digs and averaged 3.88 per set. Against Miami, she led a field of five Akron players that finished the match with double-digit digs at 16. Additionally, Paluch was perfect on the receiving end, emerging from the weekend unscathed without an error in 35 attempts, and she chipped in a pair of service aces.
Justine Schepler, Northern Illinois, Jr., DS, Sycamore, Ill./Sycamore
Justine Schepler led the Huskies in digs, averaging 3.00 per set to help NIU hold its opponents to a .200 attacking clip on the weekend.
Stephenee Yancy, Western Michigan, Fr., MB, Aroma Park, Ill. / Kankakee
Yancy was a defensive stopper for the Broncos over the weekend, helping them to a 3-0 win over Toledo on Friday and a 3-1 win over Ball State on Saturday. Yancy contributed a team-best seven blocks for the Broncos in two matches, averaging a block a set, and was part of a Bronco effort that out-blocked opponents 14.0 – 7.0 in two matches. Yancy tied the match-high with three blocks against Toledo on Friday, and also added five kills and a .444 hitting percentage in the Broncos’ sweep victory over the Rockets. On Saturday, Yancy set the match-high with four blocks against the Cardinals, and added seven kills and a .333 hitting percentage to round out the all-around effort. Yancy leads the Broncos with an average of 0.79 blocks per set in 2012.
Offensive Player of the Week Nominees
Lindsey Butterfield, Bowling Green, Jr., LS, Springfield, Ohio/Springfield
Lindsey Butterfield averaged 3.71 kills per set with a .268 attack percentage as BGSU improved to 4-0 in MAC play with a sweep of Akron and a four-set win over Buffalo, both on the road. Butterfield had 16 kills and hit .438 in the sweep of Akron to start the weekend and then followed that up with 10 more kills at Buffalo. She has posted double-digit kill totals in all four conference matches this year after reaching that number only four times in 11 non-conference matches.
Carissa McKenna, Buffalo, Jr., MB, West Bloomfield, MI/Walled Lake Northern
Junior Carissa McKenna had a career day in UB’s 3-0 win over Miami on Friday night as she finished with a career-best 15 kills, hitting .440 for the match. McKenna broke her previous career high of 11 kills, which she also set against the RedHawks last season. McKenna was just as dominant defensively as she finished with 12 total blocks on the weekend, including nine in a four-set loss to Bowling Green on Saturday night. McKenna is currently second on the Bulls in blocking.
Rachel Iaquaniello, Eastern Michigan, Sr., OH, Plymouth, Mich./Dearborn Divine Child
Senior outside hitter, Rachel Iaquaniello, led the Eagles offense over the last weekend notching 24 kills, averaging four kills per set. In both of Eastern’s matches over the weekend, Iaquaniello posted double-figure kill totals with, 14 and 10 kill performances in the second weekend of conference play. Eastern opened the weekend with a match at Central Michigan, Sept. 27. The Plymouth, Mich. native notched 14 kills in the loss. She also posted 10 kills in a loss at Ohio Saturday, Sept. 29.
Meghan Romo, Northern Illinois, Sr., OH, Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso
Romo led the offense on the weekend by averaging 5.29 points and 4.71 kills per set while hitting .333.
Chelsea Bilger, Ohio, So., OH, Fishers, Ind./Cathedral
Chelsea Bilger led Ohio in kills and was fourth on the team in blocking this past weekend as the team swept both its matches. The sophomore set a season-high with 14 kills and added seven digs in the win over EMU. She also paced the Bobcats with 12 kills and six digs in a win over Kent State. Bilger ranks second on the team currently with 150 kills and 169.5 points.
Sondra Parys, Toledo, Sr., OH, Crystal Lake, IL
Sondra Parys led Toledo with a .488 attack percentage and 4.00 kills per set in the Rockets’ two matches at Western Michigan and Northern Illinois. Parys tallied a season-high 18 kills and .680 attack percentage against the Broncos.
Richelle Ranney, Western Michigan, So., MB, Eagle, Wis. / Palmyra-Eagle
Ranney was one of a handful of Western Michigan players who had stellar offensive weekends, as the Broncos recorded wins against Toledo and Ball State in the Broncos’ 2012 MAC home opener. Ranney led the Broncos with a .486 hitting percentage over the course of the weekend, committing just three errors and averaging nearly three kills a set in two matches. Ranney started the weekend strong with seven kills against Toledo on Friday, recording just one error on 12 swings for a .500 hitting percentage. Ranney also contributed a set and a dig in the win. Ranney set the match-high in kills against Ball State on Saturday, recording 13 kills on 23 swings with just two errors for a .478 hitting percentage. Ranney Also contributed a pair of blocks and a dig, for a match-high 14.0 points against the Cardinals.