WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL: Big weekend for Ball State leads to MAC weekly awards
Cardinals sweep MAC West honors
The big weekend for the Ball State women's volleyball program didn't go unnoticed. Ball State swept the Mid-American Conference West Division weekly awards after defeating Western Michigan and Northern Illinois to claim sole possession of first place of the MAC West.
Senior libero Alyssa Rio won the MAC West Defensive Player of the Week after a career performance Friday night. Rio recorded a career high 44 digs as Ball State beat Western Michigan 3-2. Rio added 19 digs in the sweep of Northern Illinois on Saturday to average 7.88 digs per set for the weekend. Rio has 520 digs on the season and averages 5.78 digs per set. Rio added two service aces.
"Alyssa Rio has been like a vacuum cleaner in back row all season, especially with 44 digs against Western Michigan," coach Steve Shondell said. "Its hard to describe the match she played Friday. She refused to lose and decided her career wasn't ending with a win over Western. She willed her team to victory and is very deserving of the honor.
"She's had a storybook season."
Junior middle blocker Kelsey Brandl won the MAC West Offensive Player of the Week. She recorded 30 kills while hitting .396 in the wins over Western Michigan and Northern Illinois. Brandl also recorded four blocks and three service aces. Brandl has 294 kills on the season.
"It was just a matter of time before Kelsey was named Offensive Player of the Week," Shondell said. "She's had a great season for us despite playing with a bad foot all season long. She doesn't get to practice full time because of that. I have to take hat off to her for her determination and playing through pain all season. I'm very proud of her."