MAC East Offensive Player of the Week
Kelly Lamberti, Ohio University, OH
Junior, Cary, Ill./Cary Grove
Lamberti led Ohio to a 2-0 record against MAC East Division rivals this weekend after posting an impressive 5.0 points/set, 4.1 kills/set and 3.7 digs/set. The Cary, Ill., native also contributed three service aces, five total blocks and hit .286 on the weekend. With her two double-doubles, Lamberti has now notched double-doubles in four of her past five contests. Against Miami on Friday, Lamberti dazzled with a match-high 19 kills to go along with 16 digs, two total blocks (one solo) and a service ace while hitting at .308. Her 21.5 points against the RedHawks marked her best output in conference play this season. In Saturday’s game vs. Bowling Green, Lamberti – the reigning MAC Player of the Year - led Ohio again with 10 kills while adding 10 digs and three total blocks. Her two service aces came on consecutive points in the second set to help Ohio rally from a four-point deficit and ultimately take the frame.
MAC East Defensive Player of the Week
Alexis Pinson, Ohio University, MB
Graduate Student, Phoenix, Ariz., Arizona State/Xavier Prep
Pinson led Ohio defensively at the net in its two wins over MAC East rivals this weekend. The Phoenix, Ariz., native notched a stellar 2.43 blocks/set while also contributing 3.1 points/set, 1.4 kills/set, three aces and five digs on the weekend. In Friday’s win over Miami, Pinson tallied a match-high nine total blocks (one solo) while chipping in six kills, two service aces and two digs. In the 3-0 win vs. BGSU on Saturday, Pinson again led the match with eight total blocks and added three digs. The graduate middle blocker also registered four kills and hit at a .500 clip against the Falcons.
MAC West Offensive Player of the Week
Lauren Rafdal, Toledo, OH
Senior, Carmel, IN/Brebeuf Jesuit
Senior OH Lauren Rafdal registered a pair of career-best performances to lead the Rockets to victories over MAC West Division leader Ball State and Akron. Rafdal averaged 6.43 kills per set and 6.92 points per set in UT’s two matches and posted a .363 attack percentage to go along with 2.29 digs and 0.43 blocks per set. Rafdal played a critical role in Toledo snapping the Cardinals’ 11-match win streak with a career-high 28 kills and .300 hitting mark. She was consistent throughout the 3-1 win over BSU with nine kills in the first set, six each in Sets 2 and 3 and seven more in Set 4. Rafdal continued her hot play against Akron with a career-best .500 attack percentage with 18 kills and just one hitting error in 34 attacks. Rafdal opened the match strong again with eight kills in the opening set and was 4-for-4 in Set 2 before notching five terminations in Set 3.
MAC West Defensive Player of the Week
Jenna Coates, Central Michigan, Libero
Senior, Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston
Central Michigan senior libero Jenna Coates took her game to a new level at Western Michigan and Northern Illinois over the weekend, finishing the two matches with 8.38 digs per set and a program rally record versus the Huskies. Coates had 37 digs Saturday night at NIU, setting a new Central Michigan mark for most digs in a four-set rally match. The performance followed a 30-dig performance Friday night at Western Michigan. Coates’ performance Saturday at Northern Illinois produced the most digs of any player in the MAC this season. She was flawless throughout the entire weekend, posting a perfect 1.000 serve/receive percentage as she handled 63 attempts without an error.
Karley Kusan, Akron, S
Freshman, Columbus, Ohio/Bishop Ready HS
Karley Kusan commanded the Zips’ offense last weekend, recording the first two double-doubles of her collegiate career while averaging 9.75 assists and 3.00 digs per set. The freshman tallied a career-high 46 assists to go with 10 digs in five sets at Buffalo, also adding a personal-best five kills. Kusan followed that up with 32 assists and 14 digs at Toledo, another career-high mark for her on the defensive end.
Jill Paluch, Akron, DS
Senior, Chicago, Ill./Nazareth Academy
Paluch averaged 4.25 digs per set in Akron’s two matches against Buffalo and Toledo last week. Against Buffalo, the senior led four Zips with double-digit digs, posting a career-high 27.
Catie Fredrich, Ball State, Libero
Senior, Menomonee Falls, Wis./Menomonee Falls
Ball State senior libero Catie Fredrich led a solid Ball State backcourt effort by averaging 4.57 digs per set and posting a .976 (41-for-42) reception percentage in the team’s two matches last week … In helping the Cardinals hand Buffalo its first loss to a non-ranked opponent this season, Fredrich tallied 16 digs and posted a perfect 1.000 (16-for-16) reception percentage … Her effort in the backcourt helped limit the Bulls to just 29 kills and a .149 (29-15-94) attack percentage for the contest ... Fredrich also tallied 16 digs at Toledo, while posting a .960 (25-for-26) reception percentage.
Alex Fuelling, Ball State, Outside Hitter
R-So.,Decatur, Ind./Bellmont/Morehead State
Redshirt sophomore outside hitter Alex Fuelling paced the Ball State offense with 30 kills and a 4.29 kills-per-set average last week, while posting a .306 (30-8-72) attack percentage … In helping the Cardinals hand Buffalo its first loss versus a non-ranked opponent this season, Fuelling dominated the nation’s second-best blocking team by bouncing 14 kills off the Worthen Arena hardwood and hitting for a .481 (14-1-27) rate of success … She also collected a pair of blocks (one solo and one assists) versus the Bulls … At Toledo, Fuelling led the Ball State offense with 16 kills and posted four total blocks (two solo and two assists), while connecting for a .200 (16-7-45) attack percentage.
Lindsey Butterfield, Bowling Green, Left Side
Senior, Springfield, Ohio/Springfield
Butterfield, a native of Springfield, Ohio, recorded a team-high 24 kills (3.43/set) on the week, as the Falcons went 1-1 to improve to 3-1 in MAC action. Butterfield only committed five errors in 59 attacks, for a team-high attack percentage of .322. Butterfield continued to provide an all-around presence, as she also added 14 digs and four blocks on the week. In Friday night’s four-set win at Kent State, Butterfield led the team with 17 kills and four service aces. In Saturday’s setback to Ohio, Butterfield added seven kills and six digs.
Ashley Dunn, Bowling Green, Libero
Senior, Bowling Green, Ohio/Bowling Green
Dunn, a native of Bowling Green, Ohio, had a big weekend for the Falcons defensively. Dunn had 36 digs, including a 23-dig match at No. 20 Ohio Saturday night. Dunn has compiled three 20-dig matches in just four MAC matches so far. Dunn also had a serve-receive percentage of .955, with seven assists and two aces on the week.
Tahleia Bishop, Buffalo, Outside Hitter
Sophomore, Whitby, Ontario/Sinclair
Sophomore Tahleia Bishop became just the eighth player in school history to have 20 kills and 20 digs in a match as she had 21 and 20, respectively in UB’s come from behind five-set win against Akron Thursday night. Bishop became the first Buffalo player to have a 20/20 game in over 10 years. Both the 21 kills and the 20 digs were career highs. Bishop was at her best in the late stages of the match as she had just one error during the fourth and fifth sets and had six kills on eight swings in the final set. On Saturday, Bishop was moved over to the right side due injuries at other positions and she finished with a team-high seven kills a three-set loss at Ball State. On the weekend, Bishop added five total blocks and a service aces.
Kelly Svoboda, Buffalo, Libero
Senior, Cleveland , OH/Trinity
Kelly Svoboda had her second straight 30-dig performance on Thursday night in the five-set win over Akron, just one match after setting a new career high with 32 digs last week. Svoboda averaged 6.00 digs a set in the win over the Zips and also added an ace and three assists. In the three-set loss at Ball State, Svoboda finished with a team-high 12 digs. She continues to lead the conference in digs at 5.81 per set.
Kaitlyn McIntyre, Central Michigan, Outside Hitter
Junior, Beaver Dam, Wis./Beaver Dam
Central Michigan junior outside hitter added her name to the CMU record books over the weekend, becoming the 17th player in program history to eclipse the 1,000 kill plateau. Entering the weekend just nine kills shy of the mark, McIntyre had a match-high 17 kills versus Western Michigan Friday night before a 26-kill performance at Northern Illinois Saturday evening. The junior finished the weekend with an outstanding 5.38 kills per set (43 total) and a hitting percentage of .276.
Erin Short, Eastern Michigan, Outside Hitter
Senior, Orrville, Ohio/Orrville
Senior outside hitter Erin Short was an offensive juggernaut for the Eagles this weekend, despite EMU falling in a pair of matches. The Orrville, Ohio native hit an astounding .424 on the week after making just one attack error in 66 total attempts. She accumulated 29 kills throughout the weekend, while also adding six blocks. She opened the weekend with a 12 kill match against Northern Illinois, before posting career numbers Saturday, Oct. 5. Against the Broncos from Western Michigan, Short notched a career-best 17 kills, while holding a .500 hitting percentage. The senior did not make an error in the entire match, while attempt 34 attacks. Not only was she strong at the net offensively, averaging 3.62 kills per set, but on the defensive side of the ball as well. Short averaged 1.62 digs per set, totaling 13 in the two matches, while also notching 0.75 blocks per frame.
Corynne Smith, Eastern Michigan, Libero
Sophomore, Norwalk, Ohio-St. Paul
Sophomore libero, Corynne Smith, was the backbone of the EMU defense in its two Mid-American Conference matches this week. The Norwalk, Ohio posted a total of 48 digs, and a .968 reception percentage in a pair of conference tilts. Smith averaged 6.00 digs per set in the weekend for Eastern. Offensively, the libero was able to notch five assists and a service ace throughout the weekend... Smith posted 27 digs, the third most of her career, with just one reception error in the Eagles loss to NIU Friday, posting a .977 reception percentage in the setback. Smith continued her strong defensive play Saturday, Oct. 5, at Western Michigan. She posted another 21 digs in the loss, but the Green and White’s libero held a .947 reception percentage.
Hannah Herc, Kent State, DS/L
Sr., Eden, N.Y./Eden
Senior libero Hannah Herc continued her climb up Kent State’s all-time digs list, passing Stephanie Doran and Carrie McEnery for 7th with 1,108 for her career. In Kent State’s 2 MAC matches, Herc posted 5.57 digs per set. She was at her best against Bowling Green with a match-high 26 digs against the then-1st place Falcons. Herc added 13 digs in matches against Youngstown State and Miami and led a defensive effort that held the RedHawks to below a .200 attack percentage for jus the 6th time this year.
Aleksandra Nowak, Kent State, S
Sr., Damnica, Poland/Boleslawa Krzywoustiego
Setter Aleksandra Nowak continued her stellar senior campaign by helping Kent State earn a key MAC victory vs. Miami Saturday evening. Nowak had a match-high 29 assists and did a great job of picking her spots to attack, finishing with 4 kills on just 6 attempts in the 3-0 win to cap homecoming weekend. In the 3rd set, she caught the defense watching and went over the net or a crucial kill to put Kent State up 21-19 after a 6-0 run that cut its lead to a single point. Her versatility was on display earlier in the week vs. Youngstown State as she had 40 assists and 12 digs for her 5th double-double of the season. Against Bowling Green on Friday, Nowak had 45 assists and 4 kill without any errors. Kent State too the 1st set in that match thanks to a heads-up play her for a kill to extend the set down 25-26, and the Flashes went on to win 28-26 for an early lead.
Sarah Angelos, Northern Illinois, MB
Senior, Waukegan, Ill./Waukegan
Senior Sarah Angelos played a large part in Northern Illinois’ 2-0 weekend, finishing with 3.25 kills/set, a .344 attack percentage and 1.25 blocks per set in wins against Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan. Friday night in the MAC home opener against the Eagles, the Waukegan, Ill., native led the Huskies with 4.0 kills/set and a .500 hitting percentage, along with 1.0 blocks/set in the four-set victory. The next night against CMU, Angelos was second on the team with 2.5 kills/set and 1.5 blocks/set in defeating the Chippewas. Keyed in part by Angelos’ performance, NIU is now 3-1 in the MAC and situated in a three-way tie atop the MAC West Division.
Justine Schepler, Northern Illinois, Libero
Senior, Sycamore, Ill./Sycamore
Senior Justine Schepler posted a career weekend for Northern Illinois, averaging 6.75 digs/set during the 2-0 weekend. Friday night against Eastern Michigan, the Sycamore, Ill., native set a new career best with 26 digs over four sets (a 6.5 digs/set average) in a 3-1 win against the Eagles. Twenty-four hours later versus Central Michigan, Schepler broke her personal best again, this time with 28 digs (7.0 digs/set) in another 3-1 win. Between the two matches, Schepler’s defense helped limit EMU and CMU to attack percentages of .131 and .119, respectively. As a result, the Huskies improved to 3-1 within the MAC and moved into a three-way tie for first place in the MAC West Division.
Ellen Hays, Toledo, Libero
Freshman, Bedford, MI/Bedford
Freshman libero Ellen Hays helped Toledo to a pair of victories over MAC West Division leader Ball State and Akron last weekend by averaging 6.43 digs per set and notching a nearly flawless passing performance with her serve reception. Hays committed just one reception error on 61 total opponent serves for a 98.4 percent success rate. She keyed the Rockets’ defensive efforts against the Cardinals with a career-high 31 digs, including 10 in Set 2 and 11 in Set 4, as UT snapped BSU’s 11-match win streak. Hays then produced a perfect passing performance on 17 Akron serves and tallied 14 digs as Toledo limited the Zips to a .167 hitting mark.
Lena Oliver, Western Michigan, Libero
Senior, Battle Creek, Mich. / St. Philip Catholic Central
Oliver led the Broncos to their first MAC weekend sweep of the season, defeating the Central Michigan Chippewas and the Eastern Michigan Eagles each by scores of 3-1. Oliver had a team-high 17 digs in the Broncos win over the Chippewas on Friday, helping the Broncos out-dig CMU 70-66 and hold them to a .237 team hitting percentage, as opposed to a .322 hitting percentage for the Broncos. Oliver was even better in the Saturday match against the Eagles, notching 27 digs and helping the Broncos out-dig the Eagles 80-66. In addition, Oliver was part of a defensive effort that held the Eagles to a .146 hitting percentage in the match. On the weekend, Oliver averaged 5.50 digs/set. On a career note, Oliver moved into fifth on the MAC career digs list over the weekend, passing Northern Illinois’s Maddie Hughes. With 2,245 career digs, she needs five more to pass the Huskies’ Gina Guide for fourth on the list.
Ave Stout, Western Michigan, Middle Blocker
Redshirt Freshman, Fort Wayne, Ind. / Bishop Luers
Stout was once against the offensive catalyst for the Broncos, leading them to a pair of 3-1 wins over conference opponents Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan. Stout recorded a team-high 15 kills in the Broncos’ win over the Chippewas on Friday, hitting .556 and also adding five blocks and four digs. She went on to notch 12 kills and a .375 hitting percentage in the Broncos’ win over the Eagles, also contributing three blocks and three digs. Stout averaged a team-best 4.00 points/set over the weekend, hitting a collective .471 with 27 kills. She is hitting a team-best .391 overall in 2013, but is hitting an even-better .495 in MAC matches.