MAC East Offensive Player of the Week
Bridget Wilhelm, Kent State, MB
So., Euclid, Ohio/Lake Catholic
Sophomore Bridget Wilhelm led Kent State to its first undefeated week, going 3-0 to capture the team title at the Golden Flashes Classic. Wilhelm hit an astounding .512 over the three matches and averaged 2.36 kills per set while taking only 41 swings. The highlight of the weekend for Wilhelm came against Eastern Illinois, when she turned in one of the most dominant hitting performances in program history. In the Golden Flashes’ four-set victory, she posted a career-high 16 kills on only 20 attempts in addition to an ace and a block assist for 17.5 points. Wilhelm’s incredible .700 attack percentage ranks as the fourth-best performance in Kent State history and the top mark over the past 17 years. She controlled play around the net on both sides throughout the weekend, totaling 10 blocks and helping limit opponents to a .160 attack percentage. Wilhelm hit .300 or better in all three matches and was a key part of a Kent State attack that hit .272 and averaged nearly 2.5 more kills per set than its opponent, as her ability to put balls away helped open things up for the team’s pins.
MAC East Defensive Player of the Week
Hannah Herc, Kent State, DS/L
Senior, Eden, N.Y./Eden
Senior libero Hannah Herc capped off a memorable weekend by being named both Most Valuable Player and Top Defensive Player of the Golden Flashes Classic on Saturday. Herc led Kent State to a 3-0 record as the Golden Flashes defended its home court by capturing the tournament’s team title, dropping just two sets in the process. She recorded the 1,000th dig of her career in the finale against Illinois-Chicago. The milestone dig came at the end of the first set, and she finished with 19 digs to rank ninth in Kent State history (1,009). In a sweep of Binghamton to open the weekend, Herc had 17 digs despite having fewer opportunities due to the Bearcats hitting just .090 and having nearly as many hitting errors (18) as kills (20). Her best performance of the weekend came against Eastern Illinois, as she recorded 22 digs in a four-set victory. Led by Herc’s 5.27 digs per set, Kent State was able to hold its opponents to a .160 attack percentage over the three matches. The Golden Flashes have now out-dug their last seven opponents. Herc finished the weekend with a perfect serve receive percentage on 58 attempts and also had a team-best four aces.
MAC West Offensive Player of the Week
Mindy Marx, Ball State, MH
Sr., Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven
Was named the Most Valuable Player of the College of Charleston Classic after helping guide the Cardinals to the tournament championship … Averaged 3.36 kills and 0.79 blocks per set, while hitting .453 for the week … Helped Ball State improve to 12-3 on the season, and run its current winning streak to nine matches … In Ball State’s victory over SMU, Marx blasted a career-high 16 kills, while connecting for a career-best .667 (16-2-21) rate of success … She also tallied three blocks in the win to help BSU post a season-best 17 team blocks on the day … In the championship match victory over the College of Charleston, Marx tallied 11 kills while leading all players with six total blocks, including three solo stuffs … Opened the week with 10 kills in BSU’s midweek sweep of IUPUI, while opening the CofC Classic with 10 kills versus UNC Asheville …
MAC West Defensive Player of the Week
Hayley Benson, Ball State, MH
R-So., Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Bradley
Hayley Benson led a strong effort at the net for the Cardinals, averaging 1.57 blocks per set in the Cardinals four matches last week … A member of the College of Charleston Classic All-Tournament Team, Benson posted one of the most impressive blocking displays in program history in the win over SMU, racking up a career-best 14 total blocks, including career-highs of five solo blocks and nine block assists … The 14 total blocks tie as the most for a BSU player in a match in the rally scoring error, and helped the team post a season-best 17 total blocks in the match … Benson’s previous career-high for blocks was six in last season’s win over Bowling Green … Thanks in part to Benson’s solid play, the Cardinals captured their second-straight tournament championship, improved to 12-3 on the season and ran their winning streak to nine consecutive matches … On offense, Benson averaged 2.21 kills per set, while hitting .441.
Jill Paluch, Akron, DS
Senior, Chicago, Ill./Nazareth Academy
Jill Paluch averaged 3.75 digs per set in Akron’s doubleheader last weekend against St. Francis (Pa.) and Youngstown State, helping the Zips to a split in their final non-conference matches. Against YSU, Paluch posted a team-high 19 digs, and posted a perfect receiving percentage on the weekend, despite being targeted 32 times.
Kelsey Wilson, Akron, MB
Sophomore, Ferndale, Mich./Ferndale HS
Kelsey Wilson continued her strong offensive play last weekend in the Zips’ doubleheader vs. St. Francis (Pa.) and Youngstown State. In the win over SFU, Wilson delivered 13 kills, tying a team-high for Akron and just two shy of her career mark, to hit .393 for the four-set contest. Against the Red Flash, Wilson also had a hand in four block-assists and a service ace. The sophomore entered the weekend ranked first in the MAC and 12th in the nation in service aces per set. Wilson also put down seven kills against Youngstown State, posting a combined .304 hitting percentage over the doubleheader.
Kaitlyn Skinner, Bowling Green, Middle
Senior, Cambridge, Ont./ St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School
Skinner, a native of Cambridge, Ontario, was a force at the net all week long, as she totaled 14 kills and 11 blocks for the Falcons. In Tuesday’s 3-0 win over Youngstown State, Skinner had six kills and six blocks, as she attacked .455 in the match. She also added two digs in the match. In Saturday’s matches, Skinner had eight blocks, two assists, two aces, a dig, and five blocks.
Jelena Sunjic, Bowling Green, Left Side/Right Side
Freshman, Metkovic, Croatia, Sports Gymnasium
Sunjic, a native of Metkovic, Croatia, recorded a career-high 19 kills on Saturday night in a four-set win over Rice at the Louisville Invitational Active Ankle Challenge. In that match, Sunjic had 19 kills compared to just two errors, as she had a career-best .447 attack percentage in the match. Sunjic also had matches of eight and six kills this week, as the Falcons went 2-1. In Tuesday night’s three-set win over Youngstown State, the freshman had eight kills and five block assists, as she attacked .333 in the match. In the match against the Owls, Sunjic added three kills to her 19 kills. For the week, she totaled 33 kills and added eight blocks, as she led the Falcons with a .316 attacking percentage.
Carrissa McKenna, Buffalo, Middle Blocker
Senior, West Bloomfield, MI/Walled Lake Northern
Senior Carissa McKenna was named to the all-tournament team at the Blue and White Classic as she helped lead the Bulls to a 3-1 record during the week. McKenna had her best match against Maryland-Eastern Shore as she led the Bulls to a 3-0 victory with 13 kills and just two errors as she hit .524 in the match. She also used strong blocking as she had seven in the four-set win over Valparaiso and added four blocks a piece in the other three matches over the week.
Kelly Svoboda, Buffalo, Libero
Senior, Cleveland, OH/Trinity
Kelly Svoboda again averaged over 6.00 digs per set during UB’s four matches this week, recording a pair of 20-dig performances as well. In a three-set win over Canisius, Svoboda finished with 25 digs and two aces. In UB’s four-set win over Valparaiso, Svoboda finished with 27 digs and five assists. She also added 17 digs in the win over Maryland-Eastern Shore. As a passer, Svoboda had just three reception errors in 106 attempts during the week and also had 10 assists and five service aces. Svoboda is currently leading the MAC in digs.
Kelly Maxwell, Central Michigan, Setter
Senior, Okemos, Mich./Okemos
Central Michigan senior setter displayed that she is an all-around setter over the weekend, earning All-Tournament team honors at the ‘Bash in the Boro’ thanks in large part to her defensive play. In addition to dishing out 89 assists (11.12/set), the senior had 10 blocks over the weekend and 15 digs in just eight sets of play. Her play was instrumental in the Chippewas earning a second-straight tournament runner up finish and even their record at 6-6 heading into Mid-American Conference play.
Kaitlyn McIntyre, Central Michigan, Outside Hitter
Junior, Beaver Dam, Wis./Beaver Dam
Central Michigan junior outside hitter Kaitlyn McIntyre earned All-Tournament honors for the third-straight week helping the Chippewas to a runner-up finish at the ‘Bash in the Boro.’ McIntyre helped the Chippewas earn sweeps of Jackson State and Charleston Southern and played just eight sets over the weekend, slamming home 34 kills (4.25 kills/set). The junior is now just 29 kills away from becoming the 17th player in program history to record 1,000 career kills.
Megan Crawshaw, Eastern Michigan, Middle Blocker
Junior, Mattawan, Mich. / Mattawan
Junior middle blocker Megan Crawshaw turned in an amazing week of play as EMU went 3-1, dropping just one match to No. 14-ranked Michigan State. The middle blocker was named to the 2013 Spartan Invitational’s All-Tournament Team after posting 1.3 blocks per set with 13 total, while hitting .370 in the tournament with 22 kills in 46 attempts...Crawshaw totaled 27 kills and 16 blocks on the week, including a 10 kill, seven block performance in a 3-0 victory against Cincinnati, Sept. 21. The Mattawan, Mich. native hit .529 in that match with her 10 kills coming in 17 attempts, with just one error. The junior had three matches where she posted three-or-more blocks. Overall on the week, Crawshaw hit a solid .333, with two matches that she posted better than a .400 hitting percentage. In addition to her 27 kills, the junior picked up one ace on the week. In total, Crawshaw averaged 2.08 kills, 1.23 blocks and 2.77 points per set this week for the Green and White, while helping the squad to two wins at the Spartan Invitational
Erin Short, Eastern Michigan, Outside Hitter
Senior, Orrville, Ohio/Orrville
Senior outside hitter Erin Short propelled EMU to a 3-1 record over the last four matches. The Orrville, Ohio native notched a .300-or-better attack percentage in three of the Eagles’ four matches, including a .364 hitting percentage and 10 kills in the Green and White’s 3-1 win over Duquesne, Sept. 21. The senior also posted six blocks in the EMU victory over Duquesne. Short was named to the 2013 Spartan Invitational All-Tournament team after posting 23 total kills and just three attack errors in 60 attempts through the three matches EMU competed in. For the tournament, Short notched a .333 attack percentage, while averaging one block per set in the 10 frames Eastern saw at Jenison Field House...Overall through the week, Short totaled 27 kills on 74 attempts, with just four attack errors in 13 sets played. The senior averaged 2.08 kills per set, and 2.54 points per frame. Not only was Short strong offensively, but on the other side of the net she posted 10 digs and 12 blocks on the week, with a .963 reception percentage. She averaged 0.77 digs and nearly one block (0.92) per set in the Eagles’ final week of non-conference play.
Mackenzie Roddy, Northern Illinois, OH
Junior, San Bernardino, Calif./Cajon
Junior Mackenzie Roddy had a stellar week for the Huskies, as she helped NIU to a 3-1 record in the final week of non-conference play. After leading the team with 12 kills in a midweek loss to Northern Iowa, Roddy was a force during the Huskie Invitational. In NIU’s tournament opener against George Washington, the San Bernardino, Calif., native scored 16 kills and posted a season-best .394 hitting percentage in a 3-0 sweep of the Colonials. Later that night against IPFW, Roddy spiked home 17 kills and led the team with 17 digs to defeat the Mastodons, 3-1. She closed the tournament with 13 kills, a .265 attack percentage and two blocks in a 3-0 win against the Oakland Golden Grizzles to clinch the tournament crown and earn a spot on the all-tournament team. All told, Roddy averaged 4.5 kills/set in the four matches.
Justine Schepler, Northern Illinois, Libero
Senior, Sycamore, Ill./Sycamore
Senior Justine Schepler capped off NIU’s non-conference schedule right with four solid performances for the Huskies. Tuesday against Northern Iowa, the Sycamore, Ill., native totaled 19 digs and was perfect on 26 receiving attempts. In the Huskie Invitational against George Washington, Schepler had 4.7 digs/set in a 3-0 sweep of the Colonials before notching 3.0 digs/set and a kill in a 3-1 over IPFW later that night. In the tournament finale against Oakland, she had 4.7 digs/set in a sweep of the Golden Grizzles. Her performance in the Huskie Invitational earned her tournament MVP honors and her week totals include 4.5 digs/set and three perfect receiving percentage matches.
Karin Bull, Ohio University, MB
Sophomore, Bloomington, Minn./Bloomington
Bull anchored a strong Ohio defense at the net over the weekend while leading the Bobcats to a 2-1 record at the Michigan Invitational. The sophomore middle blocker garnered all-tournament honors after pacing the ‘Cats with 1.1 blocks/set while also contributing 2.7 points and 2.1 kills/set. Bull also hit a team-high .373 over the three matches. In the 3-0 win over ACC foe Maryland Friday, Bull contributed seven kills while hitting .333 and posting two total blocks. In Friday’s nightcap against Marshall, the Bloomington, Minn., native hit an impressive .400 for the match while registering a team-high of seven kills and three blocks (including one solo). Bull’s best all-around effort came against No. 10 Michigan on Saturday. She led Ohio with a team-high seven total blocks (one solo) and tallied seven kills while hitting a team-best .375 against the Wolverines.
Kelly Lamberti, Ohio University, OH
Junior, Cary, Ill./Cary Grove
Lamberti’s prowess as an offensive force was on display for Ohio this past weekend at the Michigan Invitational where the junior led the ‘Cats to a 2-1 mark after averaging 3.3 points/set and 3.0 kills/set while hitting .223 over the three matches. Lamberti also chipped in 1.8 digs and 0.3 blocks/set over the course of the tournament. Against ACC foe Maryland Friday, the Cary, Ill., native posted nine kills and eight digs while chipping in two blocks against the 8-1 Terps. In Friday’s nightcap vs. Marshall, Lamberti showed her versatility with six kills, nine digs and a solo block while also notching five assists. She saved her best performance for Saturday’s match against 10th-ranked Michigan, where the junior dominated with a match-high 21 kills while hitting .308. Lamberti also notched 15 digs and two blocks to complete her team-high fifth double-double of the year. With the Bobcats trailing two sets to one, Lamberti stepped up her game with seven kills in the critical fourth set, including four over a seven-point stretch for Ohio. Her performance was key to Ohio forcing a fifth set against the No. 10 team in the nation.
Dakota Harkins, Toledo, Middle Blocker
Senior, Canal Fulton,OH/Northwest
Senior middle blocker Dakota Harkins earned a spot on the all-tournament team at the Butler Invitational this weekend to help the Rockets to their third second-place tournament finish of the 2013 campaign. Harkins posted a team-best 1.3 blocks per set to go along with a .339 attack percentage and 2.7 kills per set. Harkins provided consistent defense in each match with five rejections vs. Tennessee-Martin, four vs. Green Bay and four against the host Bulldogs. She also tallied eight kills and a season-high .667 ATK% vs. the Phoenix and a weekend-best 12 terminations vs. the Skyhawks.
Lena Oliver, Western Michigan, Libero
Senior, Battle Creek, Mich. / St. Philip Catholic Central
Oliver led the defensive effort for the Broncos at the Dayton Flyer Classic, averaging 4.27 digs per set and posting the team-high in digs in all three matches for the Broncos. Oliver had a team-high 15 digs in the Broncos’ sweep over Wright State on Friday, leading a Bronco effort that out-dug the Raiders 54-36 and held Wright State to a .070 hitting percentage for the match. Oliver finished one dig off the match-high in the Broncos’ 3-1 loss to the Hilltoppers, digging 11 balls. Oliver finished the weekend with a match-high 21 digs against the Dayton Flyers, leading a Bronco defensive effort that saw WMU out-dig the Flylers 81-66 in just four sets. Oliver leads the Broncos with an average of 4.65 digs/set on the season, and entered last week as the NCAA’s career active leader in digs.
Lexie Pawlik, Western Michigan, Setter
Junior, Granger, Ind. / Penn
Pawlik was named to an All-Tournament team for the third time this preseason, leading the Broncos offensively at the Flyer Classic hosted by Dayton. Pawlik averaged 11.27 assists per set over the course of the weekend and set the Broncos to a .323 hitting percentage in their 3-0 win over the Wright State Raiders on Friday. The Broncos averaged 14.67 kills/set in the sweep over the Raiders, with Pawlik averaging 11.67 assists in the process. She had her best output of the weekend in the Broncos’ 3-1 loss to Dayton on Saturday, averaging 13.50 assists/set and recording her third double-double of the season with 54 assists and a season-high 17 digs. Pawlik is averaging 11.33 assists/set on the season and is setting the Broncos to a .247 hitting percentage.