UTRGV'S KNUDSEN, CSU BAKERSFIELD'S BOISEAU NAMED WAC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
UT Rio Grande Valley senior outside hitter Ragni Steen Knudsen and CSU Bakersfield freshman middle blocker Brooke Boiseau have been named the Western Athletic Conference Offensive and Defensive Volleyball Players of the Week, respectively, for the week of Sept. 10-16. This is the first-ever honor for both.
Knudsen, a Myre, Norway native, averaged 4.07 points and 3.93 kills and was named to the all-tournament team at the UTRGV Tournament last week. She opened the week with 11 kills in a sweep of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi last Tuesday. On Friday, Knudsen posted her 1,000th career kill when she tallied a season-high 19 kills vs. Texas Tech. The following day, she posted 18 kills against Houston Baptist. She also tallied her third and fourth double-doubles of the season during the week. Knudsen now has 1,029 career kills.
Boiseau, a Scottsdale, Ariz. native, led the WAC with a 1.80 blocks per set average last week. Her defense at the net helped CSUB earn a clean sweep of the Roadrunner Classic. Boiseau, who entered the week averaging 0.85 blocks per set, went up against the nation's third ranked hitter in Lindsey Ruddins of UC Santa Barbara and recorded seven blocks against the Gauchos. The next day, she tallied a season-high eight blocks against Montana. Boiseau's defensive efforts last week moved her into a tie for first in the WAC in blocks per set on the year (1.07).
Other offensive nominees included: Tesa Oaks of California Baptist averaged 3.57 kills on .333 hitting and 3.93 points per set as the Lancers went 2-0 on the week ... Chicago State's Beatriz Palmieri averaged 3.33 kills and 3.75 points and tallied three double-doubles over four matches last week ... Kayla Matthews of Grand Canyon earned all-tournament team honors at the Maverick Invitational after averaging 4.50 kills and 4.81 points per set in a pair of matches last week ... Kansas City's Alicia Harrington averaged 3.80 kills on .328 hitting and 4.17 points per set en route to Billiken Invitational All-Tournament honors last week ... Maja Stojanovic of Seattle U was named to the all-tournament team at the Redhawk Invitational after averaging 2.83 kills on .438 hitting, 0.50 service aces and 3.71 points per set as the Redhawks went 2-1 on the week ... Utah Valley's Kristen Allred averaged 4.00 kills on .367 hitting and 4.28 points per set last week.
Other defensive nominees included: California Baptist's Nicole Abreu averaged 4.86 digs per set ... Megan Klavitter of Chicago State averaged 7.06 digs per set ... Grand Canyon's Teagan DeFalco was named to the all-tournament team at the Maverick Invitational after averaging 4.10 digs per set ... Rhegan Spiegal of Kansas City averaged 4.27 digs per set ... Seattle U's Tijana Milojevic averaged 4.58 digs per set ... Gysell Zayas of UT Rio Grande Valley earned all-tournament honors at the UTRGV Tournament after averaging 7.29 digs per set ... Utah Valley's Seren Merrill averaged 3.56 digs per set.
WAC HAS 14 PLAYERS NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAMS
The WAC had 14 players named to all-tournament teams last week, led by CSU Bakersfield with three players honored. Briannah Mariner earned MVP honors at the Roadrunner Classic, while teammates Mattison DeGarmo and Desiree Sukhov were named to the all-tournament team. Chicago State's Megan Klavitter was named to the Stetson Invitational All-Tournament team, while Grand Canyon's Kayla Matthews and Teagan DeFalco earned honors at the Maverick Invitational and Kansas City's Alicia Harrington and Tyrecia Lukes earned honors at the Billiken Invitational. NM State's Tatyana Battle and Natalie Mikels were named to the Wildcat Classic All-Tournament Team, while Seattle U's Maja Stojanovic and Sofia Sanchez earned all-tournament honors at the Redhawk Invitational. Rounding out the group were Ragni Steen Knudsen and Gysell Zayas, who were named to the UTRGV Tournament All-Tournament Team.
WAC STAT LEADERS
California Baptist leads the WAC in hitting percentage (.233), opponent hitting percentage (.159), assists (12.44) and kills (13.62), while Utah Valley is tops in blocks (2.3). Seattle U leads the WAC in service aces (1.67) and Chicago State is tops in digs (16.75).
Individually, Kansas City's Tyrecia Lukes leads the WAC in hitting percentage (.435) while Utah Valley's Kazna Tarawhiti is the leader in kills (4.04) and points (4.53). UT Rio Grande Valley's Dubravka Vukoja is tops in assists (10.61) and Grand Canyon's KJ Adams is the leader in service aces (0.47). CSU Bakersfield's Mattison DeGarmo is the blocks leader (1.07) and Chicago State's Megan Klavitter is the best when it comes to digs (5.80).
WAC POSTS 71-46 NON-CONFERENCE RECORD
As a conference, the WAC has posted a 71-46 (.607) non-conference mark. Eight of the nine WAC schools have records of .500 or better. In the previous four years, the league posted non-conference records of 49-64 (434), 51-64 (.443), 47-65 (.420) and 58-64 (.475).
UTRGV'S KNUDSEN JOINS 1,000-KILL CLUB
In the second set of her team's match against Texas Tech on Sept. 14, UT Rio Grande Valley's Ragni Steen Knudsen recorded her 1,000th career kill to become the ninth UTRGV player to do so. Knudsen now has 1,029 career kills and is one of two active players in the WAC with more than 1,000 kills.
CSU'S KLAVITTER APPROACHING PROGRAM CAREER DIGS RECORD
Chicago State's Megan Klavitter has posted 25 or more digs in five straight matches, including a career-high 38 digs against Brown on Sept. 14. She leads the WAC in total digs (325) and digs per set (5.80). With 1,163 career digs, Klavitter needs 152 to reach Chicago State's Division I record.
TWO WAC PLAYERS RANK AMONG NCAA ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS
UT Rio Grande Valley's Ragni Steen Knudsen currently ranks 23rd among NCAA active career leaders in kills per set with a 3.57 average. Meanwhile, NM State's Tatyana Battle ranks 29th in total kills with 1,118.
UTRGV'S ECKER BECOMES PROGRAM BLOCKS LEADER
In her team's win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Sept. 11, Alexandra Ecker broke the program record for total blocks when she finished the match with a pair of blocks to push her total to 343, surpassing the 341 of Haley Durham (2012-15). Ecker now has 348 total blocks. She also holds the program block assists record with 316.
UTAH VALLEY'S ATOA APPROACHING 400 CAREER WINS
Utah Valley head coach Sam Atoa is two wins shy of recording his 400th career victory. Atoa, who is currently in his 20th season as Utah Valley's head coach, boasts a 398-226 career record (.638). The 2016 WAC Coach of the Year, he holds a 260-193 (.574) mark during his 16 seasons of coaching Utah Valley at the NCAA Division I level, as well as a 138-31 (.775) clip during his four seasons of coaching the Wolverines during the school's junior college era.
UTRGV SETS SINGLE-MATCH ATTENDANCE RECORD
UTRGV welcomed a single-match record 2,176 fans on Sept. 14 vs. Texas Tech. Earlier in the week, the team had posted the fourth-highest attendance (1,382) for its match against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.