CALIFORNIA BAPTIST'S SESTER, UTRGV'S ECKER NAMED WAC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
California Baptist freshman outside hitter Megan Sester and UT Rio Grande Valley senior middle blocker Alexandra Ecker have been named the WAC Offensive and Defensive Volleyball Players of the Week, respectively, for the week of Oct. 22-28. This is the first-ever WAC Player of the Week honor for both.
Sester, a Gresham, Ore., native had a breakthrough week as she led the WAC with 5.25 points and 4.92 kills per set averages over three matches. She opened the week with a career-high 21 kills in a five-set win over UC Riverside in front of a record-breaking crowd last Tuesday. On Thursday, Sester tallied 17 kills in just three sets in a sweep of Chicago State for a 5.67 average in her team's eighth-straight victory. She then matched her career high of 21 kills in four sets against Kansas City on Saturday. Sester entered the week averaging 2.77 kills per set.
Ecker, a Helotes, Texas, native, led the WAC with a 2.00 blocks per set average last week. She helped the Vaqueros to a five-set win at NM State by posting a season- and match-high 10 blocks, the second-highest single-match total of her career. It ties for the fifth-highest single-match total in program history. All 10 blocks were block assists, which is a career-high for Ecker and ties for second-highest single-match total in program history and the most since Sept. 19, 2007. UTRGV is the first team to beat NM State in Las Cruces since No. 11 UCLA on Sept. 1, 2017, snapping a 20-match winning streak at the Pan American Center.
Other offensive nominees included: CSU Bakersfield's Milica Vukobrat averaged 3.12 kills ... Tyrecia Lukes of Kansas City averaged 3.25 kills on .385 hitting as the Roos went 2-0 on the week ... Cat Kelly of NM State averaged 3.60 kills on .469 hitting ... Seattle U's Shae Harris averaged 11.25 assists and 0.38 service aces per set ... Ragni Steen Knudsen of UT Rio Grande Valley averaged 4.20 kills per set ... Utah Valley's Madi Wardle averaged 6.00 assists per set.
Other defensive nominees included: California Baptist's Nicole Abreu averaged 4.75 digs per set ... Brooke Boiseau of CSU Bakersfield averaged 1.00 blocks per set ... Alicia Harrington of Kansas City averaged 5.63 digs and 0.75 blocks per set ... Utah Valley's Seren Merrill averaged 5.75 digs per set..
WAC STAT LEADERS
Kansas City leads the WAC in hitting percentage (.234), assists (12.77) and kills (13.53), while NM State is tops in opponent hitting percentage (.156). Utah Valley leads the WAC in blocks (2.54), California Baptist is tops in service aces (1.49) and UT Rio Grande Valley leads the WAC in and digs (17.28).
Individually, Kansas City's Tyrecia Lukes leads the WAC in hitting percentage (.415), while Utah Valley's Kazna Tarawhiti is the leader in kills (4.12) and points (4.57) and teammate Makaila Jarema is tops in blocks (1.50). CBU's Natalie Zimmerer leads the WAC in assists (10.71), CSU Bakersfield's Desiree Sukhov is tops in service aces (0.45) and Chicago State's Megan Klavitter leads the league in digs (5.61).
In WAC matches only, Kansas City leads the league in hitting percentage (.237), assists (13.27) and kills (14.10), while UTRGV is tops in service aces (1.72) and digs (18.14). NM State is tops in opponent hitting percentage (.140) and Utah Valley leads the WAC in blocks (2.82).
Individually in WAC play, Lukes leads the league in hitting percentage (.386) and blocks (1.66), while UTRGV's Ragni Steen Knudsen is the leader in kills (4.42) and points (4.85). Zimmerer leads the WAC in assists (10.76), Sukhov is tops in service aces (0.57) and Seattle U's Tijana Milojevic leads the WAC in digs (5.54).
FOUR WAC PLAYERS RANK AMONG NCAA ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS
Chicago State's Lauryn Dela Cruz currently ranks sixth among NCAA active career leaders in attacks per set (11.16). Meanwhile, UT Rio Grande Valley's Ragni Steen Knudsen ranks 20th in kills per set (3.68) and 43rd in total kills (1,219), teammate Alexandra Ecker ranks 31st in sets played (445) and NM State's Tatyana Battle ranks 34th in total kills (1,262).
NM STATE'S HOME WIN STREAK SNAPPED AT 20 MATCHES
UT Rio Grande Valley defeated NM State in five sets on Oct. 27, snapping the Aggies' 20-match home winning streak at the Pan American Center. The last time NM State had lost at home was Sept. 1, 2017, when the Aggies fell to No. 11 UCLA. NM State's longest home winning streak took place from the 2005-07 seasons and lasted 29 matches.
KANSAS CITY'S 17 WINS RANKS THIRD ALL-TIME
Kansas City has now posted 17 wins this season, tied for third-most victories in school history. In 2014, the Roos won a program-record 24 matches.
SU'S HARRIS SURPASSES 2,500 CAREER ASSISTS
Shae Harris totaled 90 assists in Seattle U's two matches last week, bringing her career total to 2,512. She joins Jamie Mellies (2007-10), who holds the all-time record at 4,137 and Erika Brunson (2001-04, 3,904) as the only players in Seattle U history to surpass 2,500 assists.
CSUB TALLIES 13 SERVICE ACES AGAINST KANSAS CITY
As a team, CSUB recorded 13 service aces on Oct. 25 against Kansas City, just one shy of the school's Division I four-set match record. Five of those aces came from junior Rafa Bonifacio, tying the school's four-set record.
CHICAGO STATE'S KLAVITTER IS PROGRAM CAREER DIGS LEADER
Chicago State's Megan Klavitter, who earlier this season became the only active player in the WAC with 1,000 or more digs, became the program Division I career digs leader on Oct. 13 at Grand Canyon when she recorded her 1,315th dig. Klavitter now has 1,399 career digs and needs 17 to enter the WAC Top 10. Klavitter posted a career-high 38 digs against Brown on Sept. 14. She leads the WAC in digs per set (5.71) and total digs (491).
CSUB'S WICKS RANKS 10TH IN PROGRAM CAREER ASSISTS
CSU Bakersfield redshirt junior Sidney Wicks has 1,442 career assists, good for 10th place all-time in program history. The setter needs 135 to move into ninth place.