INDIANAPOLIS -- UIC freshman Nicole Johnson has been named Horizon League Volleyball Offensive Player of the Week, while Youngstown State senior Shannon Watson has earned Defensive Player of the Week honors for the period of Sept. 1-7.
Johnson averaged a stellar 15.36 assists per set this weekend as the Flames won two of their three matches at the Windy City Invitational. She started the weekend with 44 assists in UIC’s three-set win over Chicago State. She opened Saturday with a career-high 65 assists in the Flames four-set match versus Syracuse and added 60 more assists in UIC’s four-set win over DePaul. In the three matches, UIC hit .275 as a team.
In 2013, there were only three matches where a player reached the 60-assist mark and all three of those instances occurred in five-set matches.
Through two weekends, Johnson leads the Horizon League in assists with an average of 12.35 per set.
Watson garnered Defensive Player of the Week honors after leading YSU in blocks this past weekend. She averaged 1.31 blocks per set as the Penguins won three of their four matches at the Duquesne-Robert Morris Invitational. She set a career-high with 10 blocks in the match versus Duquesne. YSU’s defense limited their opponents to a combined .155 attack percentage in the four matches.
With 31 blocks on the season and an average of 1.24 per set, Watson leads the HL in blocks.
Other Top Performers for the Week:
Kelsey Berrington, Valparaiso (Jr., S) - Berrington was named MVP of the Jackrabbit Invitational. She averaged 11.18 assists per set at the tourney while the Crusaders hit .286 as a team. She set career-highs in assists twice during the week, first with 55 versus IUPUI and then had 56 against Stephen F. Austin. She also recorded two double-doubles on the week with 55 assists/17 digs versus IUPUI and 39 assists/12 digs versus UMKC.
Sammy Condon, Oakland (Fr., MH) - Condon was named to the All-Tournament team at the Tiger Invitational. She had 14 kills and four blocks in the Golden Grizzlies four-set win over Missouri.
Lexi Egler, Youngstown State (Sr., OH) - Egler averaged 3.44 kills per set and 3.56 digs per set as YSU improved to 6-1. She had double-doubles in three of YSU’s four matches on the weekend. She had highs of 18 kills versus Indiana State and 17 digs at Duquesne.
Maggie Hannon, Cleveland State (Sr., MH) - Hannon was named to the Penn Invitational All-Tournament team. She led the team with an average of 3.00 kills per set.
Taylor Humm, Oakland (Sr., OH) - Humm led the Golden Grizzlies with 45 digs, six assists and three service aces on the weekend.
Katie Klusman, Wright State (Fr., OH) - Klusman had 47 kills for the Raiders last week. She had 17 digs and three aces in WSU’s five-set match against Dayton and 16 kills with five digs in five sets versus Bowling Green.
Julie Kolinske, Milwaukee (Sr., OH) - Kolinske was named to the Wynn Invitational All-Tournament team. She hit .315 and averaged 4.23 kills per set in UWM’s four matches.
Alexis Middlebrooks, Cleveland State (Fr., MH) - Middlebrooks averaged 1.44 blocks per set at the Penn Invitational. She posted seven blocks against Penn.
Emily Riese, Green Bay (Jr., S) - Riese was named to the Central Michigan All-Tournament team after tallying 107 assists in three matches directing the Phoenix offense. She had 37 assists in GB’s win over Central Michigan.
Maggie Strus, UIC (Jr., DS) - Strus compiled a match-high 20 digs against DePaul, her second 20-plus dig effort of the season. She had a match-high 19 digs against Syracuse.
Jessie Thornton, Wright State (Fr., L) - Thornton had 89 digs in four sets last week. She had 31 digs in five sets versus Bowling Green and 28 in five sets against Dayton.
Taylor Totka, Green Bay (Fr., MB) - Totka totaled 14 blocks in three matches for the Phoenix. She had a season-high six blocks in the win over Central Michigan. She added 25 kills on a .302 attack percentage during the weekend.
Kelsey Victor, Valparaiso (Sr., MH) - Victor averaged 1.13 blocks per set for the week. She had five blocks versus UMKC and South Dakota State and four blocks against IUPUI and Stephen F. Austin.
Horizon League Offensive Players of the Week:
Aug. 25 - Julie Kolinske, Milwaukee
Sept. 1 - Nicole Johnson, UIC
Horizon League Defensive Players of the Week:
Aug. 25 - Nikki Thompson, Youngstown State
Sept. 1 - Shannon Watson, Youngstown State