ELMHURST, Ill. – Western Illinois' Mackenzie Steckler and North Dakota State's Abbi Klos were named the #SummitVB Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week Monday after their standout performances last weekend.
Western Illinois (7-18, 2-9) won its only match of the weekend last Saturday, defeating South Dakota State, 3-1, thanks in large part to the performance of Steckler. The sophomore logged a 2.50 kills/set average (10 kills) and hit a career-best .692 on 13 attacks and only one error. That hitting percentage was more than double what Steckler has averaged in 2017 (.331).
Steckler's hitting percentage versus the Jackrabbits would rank as the best single-match performance among Summit League middle hitters this season and fourth overall among all positions (minimum 10 kills).
This is the first-career Player of the Week nod for Steckler, and the first time a Leatherneck has achieved the offensive honor since October of the 2014 season.
It was also the first-career Defensive Player of the Week title for Klos, who was instrumental in helping North Dakota State (16-8, 7-5) secure a five-set win over Fort Wayne last Friday. The sophomore from La Crosse, Wis., tallied 31 total digs at a 6.20 dig/set average. It was the 14th time in 2017 Klos has posted double-digit digs in a match and the first time in her career that Klos surpassed the 20-dig mark.
Additionally, Klos became the second NDSU player this season to break the 30-dig plateau, joining teammate Mikaela Purnell.
Mackenzie Steckler, Western Illinois
So. // Middle Hitter // Wentzville, Mo.
- Last Week: 10 kills, 2.50 kills/set, .692 hitting percentage, 15.0 points, 3.8 points/set
- Achieved career-high hitting percentage in a victory over South Dakota State
- In league matches, ranks fifth in hitting percentage (.330)
- In all matches, ranks third in hitting percentage (.331)
- First-career Offensive Player of the Week title
- First Leatherneck since October 27, 2014 to earn Offensive Player of the Week honors
Also nominated: Teal Schnurr (Denver), Nicole Rightnowar (Fort Wayne), Jessica Jorgensen (NDSU), Abby Bergsten (Omaha), Laura Milos (Oral Roberts), Hayley Dotseth (South Dakota),
Previous Winners: Aug. 28 – Kayla Principato (Denver) | Sept. 5 – Brianna Rasmusson (NDSU) | Sept. 11 – Laura Milos (Oral Roberts) | Sept. 18 – Kelly Law (USD) | Sept. 25 – Laura Milos (ORU) | Oct. 2 – Laura Milos (ORU) | Oct. 9 – Hayley Dotseth (USD) | Oct. 16 – Becca Latham (Denver) | Oct. 23 – Laura Milos (Oral Roberts) | Oct. 30 – Becca Latham (Denver)
Abbi Klos, North Dakota State
So. // Defensive Specialist // La Crosse, Wis.
- Last Week: 31 digs, 6.20 digs/set
- Second NDSU player to surpass 30 digs this season
- First-career 20-plus dig performance
- 14th double-digit dig performance in 2017
- First-career Defensive Player of the Week title
Also nominated: Emma Willis (Denver), Elizabeth Britner (Fort Wayne), Anna Blaschko (Omaha), Morgan Blomquist (Oral Roberts), Anne Rasmussen (South Dakota), Shalyn Greenhaw (Western Illinois)
Previous Winners: Aug. 28 – Mikaela Purnell (NDSU) | Sept. 5 – Bella Lien (NDSU) | Sept. 11 – Mikaela Purnell (NDSU) | Sept. 18 – Mikaela Purnell (NDSU) | Sept. 25 – Anne Rasmussen (USD) | Oct. 2 – Anne Rasmussen (USD) | Oct. 9 – Anne Rasmussen (USD) | Oct. 16 - Mikaela Purnell (NDSU) | Oct. 23 – Anne Rasmussen (USD) | Oct. 30 – Megan Doran (Oral Roberts)
ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Through 35 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 100,000 at eight institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Fort Wayne (Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne), North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University with the University of North Dakota becoming an official member on July 1, 2018. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced nine NCAA Champions along with over 90 Academic All-Americans, nearly 100 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague.