MAC East Offensive Player of the Week
Bridget Wilhelm, Kent State, MB
So., Euclid, Ohio/Lake Catholic
Sophomore Bridget Wilhelm averaged 2.7 points per set and had a team-best .415 attack percentage to help Kent State to a pair of crucial conference wins over Buffalo and Akron. Wilhelm posted 11 kills in a 3-2 win over Buffalo on Friday to move past the Bulls in the Mid-American Conference East Division standings. On Saturday, she recorded a .500 attack percentage and t away 9 shots in a 5-set victory that gave Kent State its first season sweep of Akron since 2009 and the full point in this year’s PNC Wagon Wheel Challenge. Wilhelm added 7 stuffs to finish with 13.5 points against the Zips. Even when she wasn’t scoring points by knocking down Akron shots, Wilhelm’s presence at the net was felt, as the Golden Flashes limited them to just .083 hitting for the match and .000 in the final set.
MAC East Defensive Player of the Week
Kelly Svoboda, Buffalo Libero
Senior, Cleveland , OH/Trinity
Kelly Svoboda reached a new career-high in her distinguished four-year career on Saturday night as she averaged over 8.0 digs a set in reaching a new career high with 33 digs against the Ohio Bobcats. Svoboda’s previous career high was 32, which she set earlier this season. Against Ohio, Svoboda also have two service aces and three assists. On Friday night, Svoboda finished with 28 digs in a five-set match at Kent State. Svoboda has now gone over the 500-dig mark for the season and have 1,819 digs for her career, just 65 away from the school record.
MAC West Offensive Player of the Week
Hayley Benson, Ball State, Middle
R-So., Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Bradley
Redshirt sophomore Hayley Benson recorded a .421 (17-1-38) attack percentage last weekend to help Ball State maintain its spot atop the Mid-American Conference standings. Benson, who posted just one attack error in 38 swings last weekend, also added five block assists.
MAC West Defensive Player of the Week
Catie Fredrich, Ball State, Libero
Sr., Menomonee Falls, Wis./Menomonee Falls
Ball State senior libero Catie Fredrich led a dominating defensive effort as the Cardinals retained its spot atop the league standings by limiting CMU and EMU to a combined .082 (59-39-243) attack percentage, trailed for only one point the entire weekend, and did not allow either squad to reach more than 19 points in a set … Fredrich averaged 6.67 digs per set, while posting a perfect reception percentage by successfully passing all 23 serves she faced
Alyssa Maloney, Bowling Green, Middle
Freshman, Homer Glen, Ill. / Providence Catholic
Freshman Alyssa Maloney posted a career-best nine blocks as Bowling Green defeated Miami Thursday night in five sets. She added two more blocks in a four-set loss to Western Michigan Saturday. In all, Maloney posted three solo blocks and she added eight kills in the two matches as well.
Danielle Tonyan, Bowling Green, Right Side
Senior, McHenry, Ill. / McHenry
Danielle Tonyan had a season-high 21 kills as Bowling Green held off a late comeback by Miami Thursday night. Tonyan hit .381 and helped the Falcons pull out a win despite being without first team all-conference player Lindsey Butterfield. Tonyan added 12 more kills Saturday at Western Michigan in a four set loss. She also recorded five blocks on the week.
Tahleia Bishop, Buffalo, Outside Hitter
Sophomore, Whitby, Ontario/Sinclair
Sophomore Tahleia Bishop led the Bulls offensively this past weekend in a pair of road matches at Kent State and Ohio. In a tough five-set loss at Kent State, Bishop recorded a new career high in kills with 22, as she hit a match-high .400. Bishop also contributed defensively with three total blocks, including a solo. On Saturday night, Bishop took 51 swings in a four-set loss at Ohio as she still finished with a match-high 17 kills. Bishop leads UB with 314 kills on the season, over 100 kills more than the next player.
Danielle Gotham, Central Michigan, Middle Blocker
Senior, South Lyon, Mich./South Lyon
Central Michigan senior middle blocker matched a career high in blocks and posted a season high in points Saturday night at Toledo. Gotham matched her career high with nine blocks (two solo, seven assists), helping the Chippewas post a season-high 17 blocks as a team. In addition to her defensive prowess, Gotham posted her sixth double-digit kill performance of the season with 12, finishing the evening with 17.5 points. The senior had a 12 blocks in total over the weekend and now ranks fourth in CMU rally history with 279 career blocks.
Jill Briner, Eastern Michigan, Setter/Outside Hitter
Junior, Oak Park, Ill./Oak Park and River Forest (Northeastern)
First-year Eagle, Jill Briner, continued her solid play this weekend for the Green and White. Despite falling in a pair of matches, Briner totaled 65 assists and 10 kills. The junior posted 9.29, 1.43 and 5.57 digs per frame in Eastern’s seven sets played last weekend. Against Toledo, Nov. 1, Briner posted 44 assists, just two shy of her career high that she set against Bowling Green, Oct. 18.
Corynne Smith, Eastern Michigan, Libero
Sophomore, Norwalk, Ohio-St. Paul
Sophomore libeo, Corynne Smith, posted a team-high 46 digs against EMU’s opponents this weekend. The Norwalk, Ohio native notched 23 digs in each match for an average of 6.57 per frame. That number is almost an entire dig more per set than the current Mid-American Conference lead of 5.60.
Jenny Ingle, Miami, Middle Hitter
Sophomore, Ludlow Falls, Ohio/Brookville
Ingle was Miami’s leading attacker in two matches this week. She finished with 28 kills and made only five attack errors in 56 attempts for a .411 hitting percentage. Against Bowling Green, she finished with 16 kills and a .314 hitting percentage. Ingle added 12 more kills against Northern Illinois on Saturday and made 0 attack errors in 21 attempts for a .571 hitting percentage. She also scored on her block, finishing with five block assists for the week.
Alexis Gonzalez, Northern Illinois, Setter
Sophomore, Fresno, Calif./Bullard HS
Sophomore setter Alexis Gonzalez spearheaded a superb offensive weekend for the Huskies, as they notched wins over Western Michigan and Miami (Ohio) at home. Thursday on Time Warner SportsChannel and ESPN3 against WMU, Gonzalez recorded a season high 54 assists (13.5 assists/set) and a .400 assist percentage, while notching three service aces (0.75 aces/set) and four kills (1.0 kills/set) in a 3-1 win over the Broncos. Two days later against Miami (Ohio), she tallied 44 assists (11 assists/set), three kills and a .310 assist percentage en route to a 3-1 victory over the RedHawks. In total, the Fresno, Calif., native averaged 12.25 assists/set in the two wins.
Justine Schepler, Northern Illinois, Libero
Senior, Sycamore, Ill./Sycamore HS
Senior Justine Schepler was impressive on the defensive end for NIU in wins over Western Michigan and Miami (Ohio) this past weekend. Thursday on national TV against Western Michigan, the Sycamore, Ill., native posted 22 digs (5.5 digs/set) and a perfect receiving percentage in a 3-1 win over the Broncos. Two nights later against the RedHawks, Schepler topped her previous mark with 23 digs (5.75 digs/set), along with another perfect receiving percentage performance in the 3-1 victory. Between the two matches, Schepler averaged a sound 5.62 digs/set and did not commit any receiving errors in 51 attempts.
Meredith Ashy, Ohio University, DS
Sophomore, Louisville, Ky./Sacred Heart Academy
Ashy notched an impressive 6.0 digs/set to bolster Ohio’s defense during a 2-0 home weekend for the Bobcats. On Friday against Akron, Ashy set a personal best digs mark in a three set match with 25 (8.3 digs/set) and added a service ace and three assists for Ohio. In Saturday’s four-set victory against Buffalo, the sophomore libero tallied 17 digs while chipping in two assists and a service ace. Her eight digs in the fourth set were a key reason why the ‘Cats won the extra session frame, 27-25, and captured the match victory over the Bulls. The Louisville, Ky., native is averaging 5.7 digs/set over Ohio’s past five matches.
Liis Kullerkann/Ohio University, OH/RS
Redshirt Junior/Keila, Estonia
Kullerkann hit at a high level while providing an important offensive spark during Ohio’s 2-0 home weekend against Akron and Buffalo, combining for 3.0 kills/set and a .406 hitting percentage. On Friday against the Zips, Kullerkann knocked down nine kills in the match and hit a blistering .467 on 15 total attempts. On Saturday against the Bulls, the Keila, Estonia, native tallied 12 kills and hit .364 while also chipping in three total blocks. Kullerkann saved her best performance for the fourth set against the Bulls, as the redshirt junior notched five kills in the frame to help Ohio earn the 27-25 set victory and clinch the match victory in four.
Dakota Harkins, Toledo, Middle Blocker
Senior, Canal Fulton, OH/Northwest
Senior middle blocker Dakota Harkins helped Toledo cap off a perfect Mid-American Conference home season last weekend by posting a team-high .407 attack percentage and notching 3.22 kills per set and 1.00 blocks per set. Harkins tied her career high with 16 kills to go along with a team-high .500 hitting mark in a 3-1 victory over Eastern Michigan on Friday before notching 13 kills and a .310 attack percentage to help UT rally for a 3-2 triumph over Central Michigan on Saturday. Her defensive play also helped limit the Chippewas to a .132 hitting mark and the Eagles to a .168 ATK%.
Ellen Hays, Toledo, Libero
Freshman, Bedford, MI/Bedford
Freshman libero Ellen Hays helped Toledo cap off a perfect Mid-American Conference home season last weekend by averaging a team-high 5.56 digs per set. Hays tallied a team-high 26 digs in a 3-1 victory over Eastern Michigan on Friday before collecting 24 digs to help UT rally for a 3-2 triumph over Central Michigan on Saturday. Her defensive play also helped limit the Chippewas to a .132 hitting mark and the Eagles to a .168 ATK%. In the Rockets’ 3-1 win over the Eagles, she tallied 12 digs in a key Set 3 win over EMU to give UT a 2-1 advantage. Hays also was nearly perfect with her serve receive as she committed just one reception error in 42 opponent serves
Lena Oliver, Western Michigan, Libero
Senior, Battle Creek, Mich. / St. Philip Catholic Central
Oliver had her best two-match stretch in MAC play of the season this past weekend, helping the Broncos to a split, including a win over defending MAC Tournament champion Bowling Green on Saturday. Oliver posted a season-high 37 digs in just four sets of work against Northern Illinois on Wednesday, giving her an average of 9.25 digs/set in the match. She was also perfect on the serve-receive, handling 13 serves with no reception errors. Oliver provided 11 digs in the Broncos’ 3-1 win against the Falcons on Saturday, one of five players to reach double-figures in digs, and was a perfect 7-of-7 on the serve-receive. Oliver averaged 6.00 digs/set over the course of the weekend and is now averaging 5.06 digs/set in conference play this year.
Ave Stout, Western Michigan, Middle Blocker
Freshman, Fort Wayne, Ind. / Bishop Luers
Stout was the most consistent offensive player for the Broncos over the weekend, providing great hitting percentages and double-digit kills totals in matches against Northern Illinois and Bowling Green. Stout posted 10 kills on 18 attempts with just one error in the Broncos’ road loss to the Huskies, giving her a .500 hitting percentage in the match; she also recorded two solo blocks to give her a match-ending points total of 12.0. Stout was similarly effective in the Broncos’ win over the defending MAC Tournament champion Falcons, posting 11 kills on 25 attempts with just three errors for a .320 hitting percentage. Stout continues to the be the offensive leader for the Broncos in conference play, averaging 2.67 kills/set (second behind only Claire Gerwig’s 2.69 kills/set average in MAC play), and her .381 hitting percentage in conference play is the best among any of her teammates with 200 or more attempts against MAC opponents.