INDIANAPOLIS -- UIC junior Sara Sternard has been named Horizon League Volleyball Offensive Player of the Week, while Youngstown State senior Erika West has earned Defensive Player of the Week honors for the period of Oct. 7-13.
Sternard, a junior from Clarendon Hills, Ill., had 28 kills and hit .393 for the Flames last week. She had a team-high 13 kills on Friday as UIC battled back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Cleveland State, 3-2. Sternard hit .387 in the match - committing just one attack error in 31 attacks - while also adding two solo blocks. On Saturday, the Flames fell to Youngstown State, but Sternard was strong on offense, recording a match-high 15 kills and hitting .400.
Sternard ranks among the League leaders with 211 kills this season and is third in the conference with a .321 hitting percentage. In five League matches this season, Sternard is hitting .374 and is averaging 3.39 kills per set.
UIC (6-14, 1-4) returns to the court this week with two home matches. The Flames host Wright State (6-16, 0-5) on Friday and Oakland (8-11, 2-3) on Saturday.
West, a senior from Painesville, Ohio, averaged 6.33 digs per set last week for the Penguins. She had a match-best 16 digs in YSU’s loss to Valparaiso on Friday. The next day, West recorded 22 digs in a three-set sweep of UIC. The 22 digs were the most by a Penguin in a three-set match since 2006.
West also went over 1,000 career digs last week.
Youngstown State (11-9, 3-2) heads to Wisconsin for its next two matches. The Penguins play at Green Bay (8-9, 3-2) on Friday before closing the weekend at first-place Milwaukee (9-8, 5-0).
Other Top Performers for the Week:
Morgan Beil, Valparaiso (Jr., MH) - Beil had the second-best hitting percentage of her career, .667, in Valpo’s sweep of Youngstown State on Friday. (14-0-21). She added eight kills in Valpo’s win over CSU on Saturday.
Melissa Deatsch, Oakland (Fr., OH) - Deatsch had 13 digs and four service aces in Oakland’s win over Wright State on Friday.
Alexis Egler, Youngstown State (Jr., OH) - Egler averaged 4.5 kills/set last week for the Penguins. She tied for the match-high with 14 kills against Valparaiso and had a team-best 13 kills on a .312 attack percentage in YSU’s sweep of UIC.
Mikaela Gunderson, Green Bay (So., MB) - Gunderson led all players with a career-high 17 kills in Green Bay’s four-set loss to Milwaukee on Friday. She posted a .536 hitting percentage (17-2-28) in the match.
Maggie Hannon, Cleveland State (Jr., MH) - Hannon led the Vikings in kills in both of their matches last week. She had a match-high 16 kills against UIC and had 18 kills against Valpo as CSU fell 3-2 in both matches.
Casey Harris, UIC (Fr., MB) - Harris collected nine blocks in UIC’s comeback win at Cleveland State. She finished the weekend with 11 blocks and added 13 kills.
Nicole Latzig, Milwaukee (So., MB) - Latzig tallied 13 kills in UWM’s 3-1 win over Green Bay. She committed just one hitting error in hitting .571 (13-1-21) for the match.
Rachel Neuberger, Milwaukee (Sr., MB) - Neuberger had 10 kills and five blocks in Milwaukee’s four-set win over Green Bay on Friday. She now has 420 career blocks, passing Cheryl Hegemann for second on UWM’s all-time Division I list.
Cassie Pelloni, Oakland (So., OH) - Pelloni recorded 11 kills on a .417 hitting percentage in Oakland’s sweep of Wright State on Friday. It was her fourth consecutive match with double-digit kills.
Ellen Vanden Berg, Valparaiso (Sr., MH) - Vanden Berg posted a Valpo season-high 10 blocks in the victory over Cleveland State on Saturday. It was the second time in her career she reached double figures in blocks. She also hit .478 with 12 kills in the Crusaders sweep of YSU on Friday.
Horizon League Offensive Players of the Week:
Aug. 26 - Sarah Dooms, Valparaiso
Sept. 2 - Leah Van Zeeland, Green Bay
Sept. 9 - Grace Kauth, Cleveland State
Sept. 16 - Maggie Hannon, Cleveland State
Sept. 23 - Missy Hundelt, Youngstown State
Sept. 30 - Cassie Pelloni, Oakland
Oct. 7 - Sara Sternard, UIC
Horizon League Defensive Players of the Week:
Aug. 26 - Katie Mroczenski, Green Bay
Sept. 2 - Kelsey Victor, Valparaiso
Sept. 9 - Nikki Holmes, Cleveland State
Sept. 16 - Aly Ryan, Youngstown State
Sept. 23 - Rachel Neuberger, Milwaukee
Sept. 30 - Taylor Golabowski, Milwaukee
Oct. 7 - Erika West, Youngstown State