Sept. 26, 2011
DeKALB, Ill. - After averaging 6.86 kills per set over the weekend, Northern Illinois outside hitter Lauren Wicinski was named Mid-American Conference West Division Offensive Player of the Week, the league announced Monday. Already the NIU school career record holder for MAC Player of the Week selections, the sophomore's second nod this season increases her career total to seven.
"It's nice to see Lauren and the NIU volleyball program honored like this," said NIU head coach Ray Gooden. "Lauren played really well in our first conference weekend against two solid teams in Central and Eastern. Her teammates did a nice job of creating opportunities for her to score and she was able to put balls away like she's been doing her whole career."
The reigning MAC Player and Freshman of the Year led the Huskies to a 1-1 record in their first conference weekend as she totaled 48 kills (6.86/set) and hit .287 with four aces in two matches. In a 3-0 sweep of Central Michigan last Friday, she put up 21 kills and a .452 hitting percentage, adding two aces to boot. Her performance helped NIU claim its MAC opener for the second time in 10 years under Gooden.
In a 3-1 loss to Eastern Michigan on Saturday, Wicinski tallied a season-high 27 kills, served up two aces, and had 11 digs for her eighth double-double of the year. With back-to-back 20-kill matches, she has now reached the 20-kill mark seven times this season.
As a 2010 All-American and CVU.com Freshman of the Year honoree, Wicinski has picked up where she left off last season. Currently, the Geneva, Ill, native leads the MAC in kills (5.40/set) and aces (0.62/set), while ranking 10th in hitting percentage (.309). As of Sept. 18, she ranks second in the nation in kills and sixth in aces.
Next up for Wicinski and the Huskies is their first MAC road swing as they take on Ball State on Friday, Sept. 30, at 6:00 p.m. CT and Toledo on Saturday, Oct. 1, at 4:00 p.m.