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DENVER – UT Rio Grande Valley senior rightside hitter Barbara Silva and NM State junior middle blocker Julianna Salanoa have been named the Western Athletic Conference Offensive and Defensive Volleyball Players of the Week, respectively, for the week of Sept. 2-8. This is the first-ever WAC Player of the Week honor for Silva and the first of the season and second of her career for Salanoa.
Silva, a Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil native, averaged 4.09 points and 3.81 kills on .376 hitting last week. She opened the week with a career-high 24 kills on a season-high .488 hitting in a rivalry win at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Over the weekend, Silva earned UTSA Classic All-Tournament Team honors after leading UTRGV to its first-ever win over a Big 10 opponent. In a 3-2 win over Maryland, she posted a match-high 19 kills. Silva also tallied 11 kills in a loss to Houston.
Salanoa, an Olympia, Wash. native, was named to the Borderland Invitational All-Tournament Team after averaging 1.45 blocks per set and posting 16 total blocks. She recorded eight blocks in the team's sweep of Pacific while also posting six digs. In a five-set thriller with UTEP, Salanoa had five crucial blocks that helped the Aggies stay undefeated this season.
Other offensive nominees included: Cassidy Dennison of California Baptist averaged 3.18 kills and 3.45 points per set ... Grand Canyon's Sarah Hagge averaged 2.33 kills on .394 hitting ... Alli Schomers of Kansas City averaged 8.5 assists, 1.12 service aces and 0.75 kills per set ... NM State's Megan Hart was named tournament MVP after averaging 2.36 kills on .489 hitting and 3.2 points per set as the Aggies went 3-0 on the weekend ... Ezgi Ozkan of Seattle U averaged 11.82 assists and 0.27 service aces per set last week ... Utah Valley's Kazna Tarawhiti averaged 3.93 kills and 4.3 points per set.
Other defensive nominees included: California Baptist's Nicole Abreu averaged 4.00 digs per set ... Teagan DeFalco of Grand Canyon averaged 4.67 digs per set ... Kansas City's Mykal Sadler averaged 0.90 blocks per set ... Tijana Milojevic of Seattle U averaged 5.27 digs per set on the week ... UT Rio Grande Valley's Draik Banks averaged 1.13 blocks per set last week ... Seren Merrill of Utah Valley averaged 4.73 digs per set.
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