From Croatia to Fiji to Italy, this week’s NCAA POWs have an international flavor

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Seattle U sophomore middle blocker Maja Stojanovic/Mike Centioli

Ohio State senior middle Taylor Sandbothe was not only the Big Ten player of the week, but the AVCA national POW in another week loaded with great NCAA volleyball performances.

Like Seattle U sophomore middle blocker Maja Stojanovic hitting .857 in a match, or Fordham freshman Olivia Fairchild with 42 kills last week, or Lily Johnson of Missouri State, who had 25 kills or more three times last week.

The POW list had quite an international flavor, too, with three Italians, a player from China, a Puerto Rican and a German winning awards. There was also a Croatian, an Estonian and player from Fiji. And a Pole.

You can look forward every Tuesday to the VolleyballMag.com roundup of the POWs around the country.

POWs, of course, are players of the week, and we will do our best to list the honorees from all 32 Division I conferences here.

ACC

North Carolina outside hitter Julia Scoles and Wake Forest outside hitter Kylie Long were named co-ACC POWs.

Scoles, who previously won freshman honors twice this season, had a team-high 26 kills, 17 digs, four blocks and three aces while averaging a .353 hitting percentage

Against Louisville, Long had 22 kills and 10 digs, and against Notre Dame had 23 kills, 11 digs and three blocks

Pittsburgh middle blocker Layne Van Busker was the top freshman. She totaled six blocks and 23 kills on 35 attempts with three errors and hit .571.

Iowa State's Jess Schaben, the Big 12 offensive POW
Iowa State’s Jess Schaben, the Big 12 offensive POW

Big 12

The Big 12 offensive POW is Jess Schaben. The Iowa State sophomore outside hitter led the league with 5.2 kills per set, hit .418 and her 26 kills at West Virginia were the most for a Cyclone this season.

The defensive POW is TCU senior middle Natalie Gower. She had 24 blocks in 10 sets, including 15 against Oklahoma. That tied the Big 12 record for blocks in a five-set match.

And the freshman is Micaya White of Texas. The outside hitter averaged 5.11 kills, including 26 at Oklahoma. She had 28 digs in two matches as well.

Big Ten

After Ohio State upset Nebraska, you could figure that Buckeyes would fill this space.

Accordingly, Taylor Sandbothe was not only the Big Ten POW, but also the AVCA national player of the week. The senior middle averaged 3.6 kills and hit .327 for the week, had 14 blocks, nine digs and four aces. Sandbothe moved into second place on the all-time Ohio State career blocks list. She has 481, 36 behind the all-time leader.

Teammate Valeria Leon, a senior libero, is the defensive POW after averaging 4.9 digs.

The setter is Minnesota sophomore Samantha Seliger-Swenson who won the honor for the sixth time after averaging 12.3 assists. And the freshman is her teammate, outside hitter Alexis Hart. Hart had 17 kills, hit .389 and won the award for the third time which has to put her in the national-freshman-of-the-year picture.

Pac-12

The offensive POW is Washington State sophomore outside Taylor Mims, who had a spectacular week for the Cougars. She averaged 2.63 kills, hit .425 and also came up with 1.63 blocks per set.

The defensive player is USC senior Taylor Whittingham. She averaged 5.22 digs after coming back from an injury.

And the freshman is Oregon’s Ronika Stone. Stone averaged 2.38 kills, hit .516 and also averaged 1.25 blocks.

Kentucky's Leah Edmond was the SEC offensive POW and also top freshman/Elliott Hess, photo, UK Athletics
Kentucky’s Leah Edmond was the SEC offensive POW and also top freshman/Elliott Hess, photo, UK Athletics

Southeastern

The player of the week was also the freshman of the week after Kentucky’s Leah Edmond had a big couple of matches. The middle who plays in her home town of Lexington had 19 kills in a win over Florida and then 13 more against South Carolina. She also totaled 18 digs and three blocks.

The offensive POW was Ole Miss sophomore right side Kathryn Cather. She had 20 kills and hit .621 against Arkansas and also had three aces, five digs and three blocks.

The defensive POW was Texas A&M senior middle Jazzmin Babers, who 10 blocks against LSU to go wth 10 kills.

And the setter was Kentucky’s Olivia Dailey, who averaged 12.80 assists and totaled 13 digs and four blocks.

America East

Had it not been for Albany sophomore libero Nicole Otero, who is a fixture in this space, all the honors would have gone to New Hampshire.

That’s because senior UNH middle Demi Muses was the POW after averaging 3.67 kills, 3.33 digs and 2.0 blocks. She also hit .333.

Teammate Kennedi Smith was top freshman after the outside hitter averaged 3.0 kills, hit .289 and also averaged 2.33 digs and a block.

And senior setter Keelin Severtson led the league with 11.0 assists per set. Otero averaged 5.50 digs. She won for the third time this season and ninth in her career.

American Athletic

UCF senior outside Jale Hervey was the offensive POW after getting 37 kills in six sets while hitting .394.

The defensive POW was SMU senior libero Morgan Heise, who averaged 4.89 digs per set and leads the league at 5.34 digs per set.

Atlantic Sun

Kennesaw State’s Anaiah Boyer, USC Upstate’s Madison Haake and Lipscomb’s Maddie Phillips got the weekly honors.

Boyer is the first player to have won back-to-back ASUN POWs since Lipscomb’s Kaycee Green

in 2012. In nine sets, Boyer had 43 kills, hit .359 and had five blocks and 26 digs.

Haake took defensive honors for being a setter who had 31 digs and 11 blocks.

And Phillips hit .667 against Jacksonville and averaged 2.33 kills per set.

Atlantic 10

Fordham freshman Olivia Fairchild and Rhode Island senior Callan Kinnan were named the A10 co-POWs, while Duquesne senior Sammy Kline was the defensive player. Fairchild was also selected top rookie.

Fairchild led Fordham, 3-1 in league play for the first time since 2012, with 42 kills and .326 hitting percentage. She also had 20 digs, seven aces and five blocks.

Kinnan’s Rams are 4-0 in conference play for the first time since 1999. The setter had 29 assists and 14 digs in one match and 45 assists in another.

Kline averaged 5.58 digs. Against Robert Morris on Tuesday, the libero set a Duquesne program three-set record for digs with 26.

Big East

DePaul sophomore right side Brittany Maxwell is the POW for averaging 4.43 kills and coming up with nine digs and eight blocks in seven sets.

The Big East freshman of the week is St. John’s setter Erica Di Maulo, an Italian who averaged 11.75 assist and also 1.62 digs and a kill. What’s more, she hit .421 with eight kills and no errors in 19 swings.

Big Sky

Northern Arizona’s Jensen Barton is the offensive POW, while North Dakota’s Alivia Fraase claimed the defensive honors.

Barton, a senior setter, averaged 10.57 assists, 2.43 digs and a block while hitting .387.

Fraase, a redshirt-freshman libero, averaged 7.0 digs.

Big West

Long Beach’s Nele Barber, a senior outside, is the offensive POW after the German averaged 4.50 kills and 4.67 digs.

The defensive POW is UC Santa Barbara sophomore DS Emilia Petrachi. The Italian averaged 5.43 digs per set.

And the freshman is Long Beach State’s Yizhi Xue. The middle had 12 kills and hit .500 against UC Santa Barbara. She averaged 2.67 kills and a block in two matches.

Hofstra's Michela Rucli/ Jonathan Heisler photo, Hofstra University
Hofstra’s Michela Rucli/ Jonathan Heisler photo, Hofstra University

Colonial Athletic Association

The CAA offensive POW is from Italy.

Hofstra sophomore middle Michela Rucli, who made just five hitting errors in 49 attempts, was the CAA POW after coming up with  27 kills (a team-high) as well as 10 blocks. And she hit .449.

The defensive honor went to Kennedy Madison. The College of Charleston sophomore middle had 13 blocks in two matches. She also had 25 kills as her team extended its winning streak to five.

Towson freshman setter Marrisa Wonders is the top rookie for the second straight week. Wonders averaged 6.44 assists, 2.89 digs and had two of her 10 double-doubles this season.

Conference USA

The C-USA offensive POW is UTSA senior outside Dajana Boskovic, who had a league-high combined 41 kills and added seven blocks. Her 4.78 kills per set leads the league.

The top defensive player is Rice junior setter Madison McDaniel. She had 30 digs and seven blocks to go with her 73 assists and she leads the league with 13 double-doubles this season.

The setter of the week is WKU junior Jessica Lucas, who averaged 11.50 assists.

And the top freshman was Catherine, a Southern Miss outside who had all seven of her team’s blocks in a sweep of Marshall.

Horizon League

The league honored Cleveland State senior Grace Kauth, who had 20 digs and 13 blocks, and junior Katie Klusman of Wright State, who had 31 kills and hit .325.

Ivy League

Columbia senior libero Cassie Wes averaged 6.88 digs  as her team got off to its first 3-0 Ivy start in history. She was named the Ivy POW.

The top rookie is Princeton’s Devon Peterkin, who had 27 kills and .393. She also had 22 digs and three blocks.

Metro Atlantic

Junior outside Skyler Day of Fairfield averaged 5.0 kills and hit .294 to be named offensive POW. She also averged 2.33 digs for the Stags, who are 7-0 in MAAC play.

Teammate Mallory Bechtold was the libero of the week after the sophomore averaged 5.5 digs. And Marist middle Megan Fergus was again the rookie of the week for averaging 3.73 kills and 0,82 blocks. She had a career-high 20 kills against Fairfield.

Mid-American

Buffalo junior Cassie Shado hit .519 and the middle blocker was named MAC East offensive POW. She had 31 kills and seven blocks in two matches and is hitting .392 for the season.

The MAC West offensive POW is NIU senior middle Lauren Zielinski, who is a familiar name in this spot. She hit .600 on the road and did not commit an error as she came away with 15 kills and four blocks.

The MAC East defensive POW was Paige Hill. The Miami senior middle had 11 blocks, three solo, in six sets. She also had 10 kills against Ohio.

The MAC West defensive player is NIU senior middle Jenna Radtke, who averaged 2.17 blocks and also 2.0 kills and hit .303 for two matches.

Mid-Eastern

Norfolk State senior outside Jessica Johnson and Howard sophomore outside Courtney Dalton were co-POWs. Johnson averaged 4.75 kills, while Dalton had 28 kills in two matches.

Norfolk State’s Jill Aquino was top setter. The freshman had 79 assists, 25 digs, three kills, three blocks and three aces in two matches.

Maryland Eastern Shore freshman setter Ivana Blazevic was the rookie of the week after the Croatian averaged 9.6 digs and 32.6 assists.

And teammate Mere Serea was top defender. The middle from Fiji had 17 total blocks, including seven solo.

Missouri StateKevin White/Missouri State university
Missouri State’s Lily Johnson attacks/Kevin White photo, Missouri State university

Missouri Valley

The POW is Lily Johnson of Missouri State. The junior outside had at least 25 kills in all three Missouri State matches last week,averaging 5.53 kills and 6.00 points per set with a .263 hitting percentage. Johnson’s kill total for the week exceeded that of four other MVC teams, and she added 24 digs, four aces and four blocks.

UNI sophomore libero Kendyl Sorge is the defensive POW for back-to-back 29-dig efforts. She ranks second in the MVC at 5.27 digs per set.

The freshman of the week is Delilah Wolf, a setter for Loyola who not only had 80 assists in two matches but 10 digs, eight kills, four blocks and four services aces.

Mountain West

The offensive player is Wyoming senior setter Courtney Chacon, averaged 13.33 assists per set and also had four kills and hit .429.

The defensive player is UNLV junior setter Alexis Patterson, who averaged 3.0 digs and a block and also had nine kills and three aces for the week.

Northeast

Makayla Dole of Sacred Heart was the POW. The sophomore outside won the honor for the second straight week after averaging 3.56 kills and 3.22 digs in three matches.

Central Connecticut senior middle Brooke Schwab was the defensive POW.

The rookie was Sacred Heart freshman outside Liisel Nelis of Estonia, who averaged 3.67 digs.

Ohio Valley

Belmont junior middle Brie Lewis hit .403 and had 37 kills, 25 against Jacksonville State and was named offensive POW.

The defensive honoree was Tennessee State junior libero Cherlie Adorno-DeJesus, another Puerto Rican. She led her team in digs in all three matches, including 32 against Tennessee Tech.

The setter was Belmont junior Emma Price, who had 46 assists and hit .667 in one match and had 36 assist and seven digs in another.

The newcomer is Adorno-DeJesus.

Aleksandra Kazala of American University
Aleksandra Kazala of American University

Patriot

Aleksandra Kazala, a sophomore outside for American, averaged 4.33 kills and hit .306. The player from Poland also had 20 digs.

The rookie of the week was Bucknell freshman middle Bridgette Holland, who hit .488 in two matches, getting 23 kills and three blocks.

Southern

Chattanooga middle blocker/right side hitter Kristy Wieser is the SoCon offensive POW after averaging 4.86 kills per set and hitting .468.

The defensive POW is UNCG libero Christina Gregory. She averaged 5.22 digs and ranks first in the league with exactly 5.22 digs per set.

Southland

Sam Houston State junior outside hitter Jordyn Vaughn was the league offensive POW for averaging 5.0 kills and hitting .244.

The defensive player was Lauren Walker of Abilene Christian, who not only had 17 kills and hit .343, but had 14 blocks, three solo.

Southwestern

No POWs to be found, but a shout out to Alabama State coach Penny Lucas White, who got her 100th win at the school.

Summit

South Dakota’s outside hitter Audrey Reeg was the offensive POW for averaging 5.67 kills while hitting .400. She had 20 kills against North Dakota State.

Fort Wayne junior middle Natalie Seiler share the defensive POW honors with Kaili Simmons, a senior libero for Western Illinois.

Seiler averaged 1.67 blocks for the week, while Simmons averaged 7.45 digs.

Sun Belt

The honors went to Arkansas State sophomore outside Carlisa May, Georgia Southern senior libero Alex Beecher, Arkansas State senior setter Mallory Washington and UT Arlington freshman Taylor Murata.

May was the offensive POW for having 26 kills and hitting .333.

Beecher was defensive POW. She averaged 4.62 digs and 1.75 assists.

Washington was top setter. She averaged 11.33 assists and also had three aces, didn’t have a hitting error while getting 10 kills and came up with 18 digs.

And Murata had 28 digs and is already in 10th place in Mavs history with 327 digs.

West Coast

There wasn’t going to be any doubt about this one. In two victories, including beating BYU San Diego senior opposite Lisa Kramer had 39 kills (4.88 kps), while hitting .435.

Western Athletic

Seattle U sophomore middle blocker Maja Stojanovic is the WAC POW. She averaged 4.33 points, 3.50 kills on .667 hitting, 1.00 blocks, 0.67 digs, 0.33 service aces and 0.33 assists per set. On Saturday against Chicago State, she led all players with 12 kills on 14 attempts with zero errors for a WAC season-high .857 hitting percentage, the third-highest single-match hitting percentage in program history.

Also nominated: CSU Bakersfield’s Carol Grasso averaged 3.71 kills, 3.00 digs, 1.57 service aces and 0.57 blocks … Katrice Pond of Grand Canyon averaged 3.00 kills, 1.50 digs and 0.50 blocks … UMKC’s Emma Hagedorn averaged 3.12 kills on .548 hitting and 0.50 blocks … Tatyana Battle of NM State averaged 3.83 kills and 1.33 digs … UT Rio Grande Valley’s Bojana Mitrovic averaged 2.88 kills, 3.12 digs and 1.12 blocks … Madison Dennison of Utah Valley averaged 3.00 kills on .500 hitting and 1.88 blocks.

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