Volleyball Weekly Notebook (Aug. 27)
Valley teams combined to post a record of 15-15 during the opening weekend of the 2012 volleyball season, including two wins against 2011 NCAA Tournament teams, as Wichita State topped both Northern Illinois and North Dakota State.
Two Valley schools remain undefeated after posting perfect records and claiming tournament titles, including Bradley and Creighton, while another three teams – UNI, Southern Illinois and Wichita State – each had only one loss last weekend.
This week's Missouri Valley Conference Volleyball Players of the Week are Creighton's Megan Bober, Wichita State's Jackie Church and Creighton's Kate Elman.
MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Megan Bober, Sr., S, Creighton
Bober had three consecutive double-doubles to lead the Jays to the USF Invitational title, the program’s first since 2006. For the weekend, she averaged 8.73 assists, 3.09 digs, 2.18 kills and 0.64 blocks per set on .408 hitting in wins over teams from the Big Ten, Big East and Conference USA. She had 36 assists, 12 digs, six kills and five blocks while hitting .385 in the season-opening win vs. UCF. On Saturday vs. host USF, Bober approached a triple-double with 22 assists, 14 digs and eight kills on .353 hitting. Bober finished with 38 assists, 10 kills and eight digs on .474 hitting in the clincher vs. Wisconsin. This marked the first time in Bober’s career that she’s been named a tournament MVP.
Other Notable Performances: Amy Angelos, BU; Cassie Effken, DU; Ashley Ring, UE; Shea Doran, INS; Kaitlin Jaeger, MSU; Amy Braun, UNI; Alysia Mayes, SIU; Elizabeth Field, WSU.
MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jackie Church, Sr., L, Wichita State
Church helped the Shockers to a 2-1 record over the weekend at the NIU Invitational and earned all-tournament team honors. She averaged 4.83 digs, 0.33 service aces, 1.25 assists and 0.17 kills per set. She also had just one reception error in a team-high 88 total attempts on the weekend. In the opener against eventual tournament champion New Mexico State, Church had a match-high 15 digs along with one kill, five assists and a service ace. Against tournament host Northern Illinois, Church posted a career-high and match-high 31 digs and also had four assists, and two service aces. In the final match against North Dakota State, she had 12 digs, one kill, on service ace and a career-high six assists.
Other Notable Performances: Allie Falter, BU; Kelli Browning, CU; Jadranka Tramslojanin, DU; Ashlen Buck, INS; Kayln Vlasin, MSU; Candice Burke, UNI; Bailey Yeager, SIU.
MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Kate Elman, Fr., L, Creighton
Elman led all MVC freshmen with 56 digs last weekend, averaging 5.09 per set in wins over UCF, USF and Wisconsin. Elman set a school-record vs. UCF, as her 22 digs vs. the Knights made her the first player with 20 or more digs in her debut. Elman then had 12 digs and a pair of aces in a sweep of host USF before closing her weekend with 22 more digs in a title-clinching win vs. Wisconsin. Elman, who handled 52-of-53 serve receive attempts successfully, also became the only freshman to ever debut while wearing the libero jersey for Creighton.
Other Notable Performances: Cassie Effken, DU; Ashley Rosch, ILS; Ashlen Buck, INS; Kayln Vlasin, MSU; Taylor Pippen, SIU; Katie Reilly, WSU.
This week, one Valley team gets an early tune-up for weekend tournament action as Indiana State is in action Tuesday evening. The other nine MVC squads will continue action this weekend, taking on nine opponents who were participants in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, including five ranked opponents – No. 5 USC (UNI), No. 11 Dayton (Missouri State), No. 14 Tennessee (Wichita State), No. 21 Kansas State (Creighton) and No. 24 Colorado State (Wichita State).
Five Valley teams will be hosting home tournaments this weekend, as Creighton, Illinois State, Indiana State, Missouri State and Wichita State will each have the home court advantage in their favor this weekend.