The Redbirds, Shockers, Panthers and Braves pace the conference race after the first weekend of MVC action with unbeaten marks.
The Valley currently owns a record of 53-50 (.515) in non-conference action, including significant wins over seven 2012 NCAA Tournament teams (No. 22 Dayton, East Tennessee State, Fairfield, IPFW, No. 17 Louisville, Maryland Eastern Shore and Tennessee).
Five Valley teams (Wichita State, Illinois State, Bradley, UNI and Missouri State) have five or fewer losses so far this season.
This week, three matches dots the non-conference slate – Chicago State at Indiana State, Illinois State at Marquette and Nebraska Omaha at Drake.
The conference calendar is highlighted by a Friday night showdown between Wichita State (11-3, 1-0 MVC) and UNI (8-4, 1-0 MVC). The Panthers are coming in hot, riding a seven-match winning streak, while the Shockers had won 10-straight before falling to two ranked opponents last weekend.
In other league games this weekend, Evansville (5-8, 0-2 MVC) and Southern Illinois (6-8, 1-1 MVC) welcome Loyola (6-7, 1-1 MVC) and Bradley (7-3, 1-0 MVC), Illinois State (7-3, 1-0 MVC) hosts Indiana State (6-6, 1-1 MVC) and Missouri State (8-5, 0-1 MVC) and Wichita State will challenge Drake (2-11, 0-2 MVC) and UNI.
This week's Missouri Valley Conference Players of the Week are Wichita State’s Ashley Andrade, Missouri State's Ashley Mason and Southern Illinois' Hannah Kaminsky.
MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Ashley Andrade, Sr., MB, Wichita State
Andrade led the Shockers to a MVC opening win over Missouri State on Thursday and to a 2-2 record overall for the week. She averaged 3.50 kills, 1.07 blocks and 4.14 points per set while hitting .482. In the sweep over MSU, she had a team-high 14 kills on 21 swings with no errors and hit .667. In the sweep over South Dakota, she had 11 kills on 18 swings with one error and hit .556. She also added five blocks. In the loss to No. 7 Hawaii, she had seven kills, two assists, two digs and five blocks and hit .333 and in the five-set loss to No. 23 Creighton she had a match-high 17 kills on 31 swings and hit .387 while also adding a team-high five blocks.
Other Notable Performances: Alise Tupuritis (BU); Amanda Platte (DU); Ashley Rosch (ILS); Morgan Dall (INS); Morgan Reardon (LU); Courtney Kintzel (UNI); Taylor Pippen (SIU).
MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Ashley Mason, Sr., L, Missouri State
Mason led all players in digs in each match she played last week, logging 36 in two matches for a 6.00 per set average. The senior had 14 digs and three assists Thursday at Wichita State, then scooped 22 Sunday against Kansas State. Mason moved to fourth on MSU’s career digs list with that performance, and back to second in career average at 3.86 per set.
Other Notable Performances: Lauren Zerante (BU); LeighAnn Hranka (ILS); Cassandra Willis (INS); Kinsey Caldwell (UNI); Meg Viggars (SIU).
MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Hannah Kaminsky, Fr., S, Southern Illinois
Kaminsky had a productive weekend as the Salukis topped Murray State in a mid-week match and then split with Indiana State and Illinois State on the road. The freshman recorded a total of 29 digs for Southern to average 2.90 per set. Kaminsky also dished out 127 assists in 10 sets for an average of 12.70 per set. The Woodrdige, Ill. native was also active at the net contributing nine kills and three blocks. She also served up four aces over the weekend.
Other Notable Performances: Melissa Hoerber (BU); Kynedi Nalls (INS); Morgan Reardon (LU); Amie Held (UNI); Dani Mostrom (WSU).