INDIANAPOLIS -- Milwaukee senior Julie Kolinske has been named Horizon League Volleyball Offensive Player of the Week, while Youngstown State junior Nikki Thompson has earned Defensive Player of the Week honors for the period of Aug. 25-31.
Kolinske earned MVP honors of the Pepsi Panther Invitational after leading UWM to a 3-0 record and the invitational title. The Big Bend, Wis., native hit .408 and averaged 4.7 kills per set to pace the conference in the opening weekend. The Preseason Horizon League Offensive Player of the Year was at her best in UWM’s five-set win over Miami (Ohio), registering career-highs in kills (26) and hitting percentage (.511).
Milwaukee (3-0), the preseason favorite in the Horizon League Coaches Poll, returns to action this week when it travels to Springfield, Mo., to participate in the Missouri State Wynn Invitational.
Thompson led a YSU defense that limited its three opponents to a combined attack percentage of .073 as the Penguins scored three consecutive sweeps to open the season. The junior from Indianapolis, opened the season with a match-high 18 digs in YSU’s 3-0 win over Evansville. She added a team-high 13 digs in YSU’s sweep of Belmont, where the Penguin defense limited the Bruins to just a .027 hitting percentage. Thompson sat out Youngstown State’s final match of the tournament, but her 5.17 digs per set average over the weekend was the best in the Horizon League.
Youngstown State (3-0) has four matches on its schedule this weekend when it plays at the Duquesne/Robert Morris Invitational.
Other Top Performers for the Week:
Amanda Baker, Oakland (Jr., MH) - Baker hit .481 on the weekend with 28 kills versus just two errors. She was named to the Bronco Classic All-Tournament team.
Ally Beck, Cleveland State (Jr., OH) - Beck was named to the Appalachian Invitational All-Tournament team after averaging 4.1 digs per set for the Vikings. She recorded 21 digs against Tennessee, just her second 20-dig match of her career.
Emily Campbell, Valparaiso (So., OH) - Campbell matched her career-best with a match-high 20 kills against Campbell. She paced the Crusaders with 13 kills in win over Wofford and was named to the All-Tournament Team at North Carolina Central’s tournament.
Taylor Golabowski, Milwaukee (Jr., L) - Golabowski had 48 digs (4.4/set average) as UWM opened the season with three wins at the Panther Invite. She added a career-best 10 assists in win over Miami (Ohio).
Maggie Hannon, Cleveland State (Sr., MH) - Hannon led the team averaging 2.7 kills per set this weekend. She recorded a weekend-high 11 kills against Tennessee Tech on a .474 hitting percentage.
Taylor Humm, Oakland (Jr., OH) - Humm led the Golden Grizzlies with 68 digs on the weekend, averaging 4.25 per set. She had 30 digs in OU’s five set match against Western Michigan, a total that ranks in the top-15 in program history.
Val Jeffery, Youngstown State (So., S) - Jeffery ran a YSU offense that hit .288 and earned three straight sweeps to start the season. She had at least 30 assists in all three matches, including 37 against Kennesaw State as YSU hit .416. She was named MVP of the Belmont Invitational.
Kara Johnson, UIC (So., OH) - Johnson led UIC with 45 kills on the weekend. She had 18 kills in the Flames four-set loss to Virginia and had a double-double with 16 kills and 14 digs in their match versus Eastern Michigan.
Nicole Lambert, Valparaiso (Jr., MH) - Lambert averaged 1.25 blocks/set over the weekend, the top-mark in the HL. She tallied a team-best four rejections vs. NCCU, while also hitting .545 with eight kills.
Ashley Langjahr, Wright State (Sr., MB) - Langjahr had 28 kills and hit .312 as she was named to the All-Tournament team and WSU went 2-1 at the Holiday Inn Classic.
Maggie Strus, UIC (Jr., DS) - Strus was named to the All-Tournament team at the Thunder Invitational. She had 23 digs against Eastern Michigan and now ranks sixth in program history with 1,290 career digs.
Jessie Thornton, Wright State (Fr., L) - Thornton had 33 digs in nine sets this weekend. She had 13 digs in WSU’s win over Chicago State on Saturday.
Horizon League Offensive Players of the Week:
Aug. 25 - Julie Kolinske, Milwaukee
Horizon League Defensive Players of the Week:
Aug. 25 - Nikki Thompson, Youngstown State