UTRGV'S KNUDSEN, KANSAS CITY'S RATZLAFF NAMED WAC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
UT Rio Grande Valley senior outside hitter Ragni Steen Knudsen and Kansas City sophomore outside hitter Alex Ratzlaff have been named the Western Athletic Conference Offensive and Defensive Volleyball Players of the Week, respectively, for the week of Sept. 24-30. This is the second honor of the season and her career for Knudsen and the first-ever honor for Ratzlaff.
Knudsen, a Myre, Norway native, averaged 5.14 points, 4.57 kills and 0.57 service aces per set in a pair of WAC wins last week. She opened the week with a season-high-tying 19 kills against Grand Canyon to move into seventh place in program history in kills. She also added a season-high two service aces. Knudsen followed it up with 13 kills in a sweep of Seattle U, when she tallied two aces. She also posted double-doubles in both matches with digs.
Ratzlaff, a Hillsboro, Kan. native, led the WAC with a 6.83 digs per set average as the Ross went 2-0 in WAC play last week. She opened the week with 18 digs and one block in a sweep of Chicago State. Ratzlaff followed it up a career-high 23 digs in another sweep, this time against California Baptist, a team with 11 wins on the season, for a 7.67 digs per set average. She topped 20 digs for the first time this season and the third time in her career.
Other offensive nominees included: Megan Sester of California Baptist averaged 3.12 kills on .234 hitting ... CSU Bakersfield's Desiree Sukhov averaged 3.50 kills and 4.00 points per set ... Lauryn Dela Cruz of Chicago State averaged 4.00 kills and 4.31 points per set ... Kansas City's Alicia Harrington averaged 4.33 kills on .328 hitting and 4.75 points per set last week ... Megan Hart of NM State averaged 2.71 kills on .438 hitting, 0.57 service aces and 3.86 points per set ... Utah Valley's Kazna Tarawhiti averaged 3.90 kills and 4.35 points per set.
Other defensive nominees included: California Baptist's Summer Avery averaged 1.25 blocks per set ... Krista Hernandez of CSU Bakersfield averaged 6.50 digs per set ... Chicago State's Megan Klavitter averaged 4.50 digs per set ... Juliana Salanoa of NM State averaged 1.43 blocks per set ... UTRGV's Talita Oliveira averaged 1.29 blocks per set ... Seren Merrill of Utah Valley averaged 5.70 digs per set.
WAC STAT LEADERS
Kansas City leads the WAC in hitting percentage (.235), assists (12.79) and kills (13.47), while NM State is tops in opponent hitting percentage (.164). Utah Valley leads the WAC in blocks (2.48), California Baptist is tops in service aces (1.63) and UT Rio Grande Valley leads the WAC in digs (17.22).
Individually, Kansas City's Tyrecia Lukes leads the WAC in hitting percentage (.426), while Utah Valley's Kazna Tarawhiti is the leader in kills (4.07) and points (4.54) and teammate Makaila Jarema is tops in blocks (1.50). California Baptist's Natalie Zimmerer leads the WAC in assists (10.42), Grand Canyon's KJ Adams is tops in service aces (0.44) and Chicago State's Megan Klavitter leads the league in digs (5.75).
In WAC matches only, Kansas City leads the league in hitting percentage (.250), assists (14.20) and kills (14.80), while Utah Valley is tops in opponent hitting percentage (.147) and blocks (2.95). UTRGV leads the league in service aces (2.07) and Seattle U is tops in digs (19.50).
Individually in WAC play, Kansas City's Melanie Brecka leads the WAC in hitting percentage (.400), while teammate Alicia Harrington is the leader in kills (4.33) and points (4.63). CBU's Zimmerer is tops in assists (10.18), while CSU Bakersfield's Desiree Sukhov is tops in service aces (0.71). Seattle U's Maja Stojanovic and Tijana Milojevic lead the WAC in blocks (1.90) and digs (7.10), respectively.
UTRGV'S ZAYAS RANKS SECOND IN CAREER DIGS PER SET
UT Rio Grande Valley libero Gysell Zayas has a career digs per set average of 4.75 which ranks second all-time in program history behind Carol Marcengo (2003-04), who averaged 5.51 digs per set on her career. Zayas is averaging 5.37 digs per set this season, which ranks second in the season record books behind Marcengo's 6.12 average during the 2004 season.
UTAH VALLEY HAS PLAYED NINE FIVE-SET MATCHES THIS SEASON
Utah Valley has not only played four consecutive five-set matches, but a total of nine five-set affairs on the season. Eight of Utah Valley's last nine matches have also gone the full five sets. The Wolverines hold a 3-6 record in five-set contests with wins over NC State of the ACC, Appalachian State and Campbell.
CSUB'S HERNANDEZ BREAKS PROGRAM DIGS RECORD
CSU Bakersfield sophomore libero Krista Hernandez posted 37 digs in a five-set victory over Utah Valley on Sept. 29, breaking CSUB's five-set match record. Hernandez's 37 digs ranks second in the WAC this season for a single match. With 304 digs this season, Hernandez is currently ninth on CSUB's single-season list.
UTRGV'S OLIVEIRA RANKS IN TOP 10 FOR BLOCK ASSISTS VS. GCU
UT Rio Grande Valley's Talita Oliveira posted a career-high nine blocks vs. Grand Canyon on Sept. 27. Thursday. She had eight block assists, tying for the seventh-highest single-match total in program history. The nine total blocks were one shy of breaking into the top 10.
NM STATE SENIORS MOVE INTO CAREER RECORD BOOKS
NM State senior setter Briana Ainsworth currently ranks eighth all-time with 2,429 career assists. Meanwhile, Tatyana Battle ranks seventh with 3,379 career attempts. With 1,180 kills, Battle is three shy of the Top 10.
CSUB'S SUKHOV TIES PROGRAM SERVICE ACE RECORD
CSU Bakersfield sophomore outside hitter Desiree Sukhov finished with five service aces against UT Rio Grande Valley on Sept. 20 to tie the program four-set match record.
UTRGV'S VUKOJA RANKS SECOND ALL-TIME IN TOTAL ASSISTS
UT Rio Grande Valley senior setter Dubravka Vukoja ranks second all-time in the UTRGV record books with 2,605 total assists. She trails only UTRGV Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Operations Chelsea Blakely, who finished her career with 3,905 assists.
CSUB'S BOISEAU RANKS IN TOP FIVE IN SINGLE-MATCH RECORDS
CSU Bakersfield redshirt freshman Brooke Boiseau recorded season highs with 17 kills and eight blocks against NM State on Sept. 22. Her blocks total and .483 hitting percentage both tied for second-best by an individual in CSUB's five-set match history. CSUB also out-blocked NM State 15-9, tying the second-most blocks in a five-set match in Bakersfield's Division I history.
WAC POSTS 72-48 NON-CONFERENCE RECORD
As a conference, the WAC has posted a 71-47 (.600) non-conference mark. Eight of the nine WAC schools have non-conference 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 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 ranks seventh with 1,091 career kills and currently holds the program record for kills per set (3.60).
CSU'S KLAVITTER APPROACHING PROGRAM CAREER DIGS RECORD
Chicago State's Megan Klavitter, who earlier this season became the only active player in the WAC with 1,000 or more digs on Sept. 8 at Georgia State, posted a career-high 38 digs against Brown on Sept. 14. She leads the WAC in digs per set (5.74) and total digs (414). With 1,252 career digs, Klavitter needs 63 to break Chicago State's Division I record as Mysta Townsell (2010-13) holds the Division I career digs record with 1,314.
THREE WAC PLAYERS RANK AMONG NCAA ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS
UT Rio Grande Valley's Ragni Steen Knudsen currently ranks 20th among NCAA active career leaders in kills per set with a 3.60 average. Meanwhile, teammate Alexandra Ecker ranks 23rd in sets played (417) and NM State's Tatyana Battle ranks 35th in total kills with 1,180.