Creighton’s Ballenger, Hickman Take Home Big East’s Top Honors

  0 volleymob | September 04th, 2018 | Big East, College - Women's Indoor, News

Courtesy: Big East Conference

NEW YORK –  Creighton junior middle blocker Megan Ballenger earned BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week honors, while teammate and line mate Naomi Hickman earned Defensive Player of the Week awards.  This weekend marked the first time since 2006 that Creighton swept three all three matches in the same tournament en route to the SMU DoubleTree Classic title.

Providence defensive specialist Mackenzie Taylor was named BIG EAST Freshman of the Week as she helped the Friars to a 3-0 weekend.

Offensive Player of the Week

Megan Ballenger, Creighton, Jr., MB (Ankeny, Iowa)

Creighton middle blocker Megan Ballenger was named the Most Valuable Player of the SMU DoubleTree Classic after helping the Bluejays to three 3-0 sweeps to complete a perfect week. Ballenger averaged 3.89 points, 3.44 kills and 0.78 blocks per set while hitting .529 percent. Ballenger opened the weekend with eight kills and three blocks on .583 hitting against Arkansas State. In the tournament closer against host Southern Methodist, Ballenger hit an impressive .609, tying her career-high 16 kills with just two errors. The junior middle blocker also had four blocks in the match.

Defensive Player of the Week

Naomi Hickman, Creighton, So., MB (Lawrence, Kansas)

Naomi Hickman, also a middle blocker for Creighton, earned Defensive Player of the Week honors after averaging 1.78 blocks per set to help the Bluejays sweep three opponents last weekend at the SMU DoubleTree Classic. Hickman opened the tournament with five kills in 10 errorless swings and tied her career-high with six blocks against Arkansas State. Hours later, she broke her personal best with seven blocks against North Carolina State.  In the tournament finale, Hickman had three blocks, three kills and a dig. One of her blocks came to fight off a set point opportunity for SMU in the second set. In addition to her blocking prowess, Hickman also added 10 kills, two aces, one dig and one assist during the week.

Freshman of the Week

Mackenzie Taylor, Providence, Fr., DS (Holbrook, N.Y.)

Providence freshman Mackenzie Taylor helped the Friars to a 3-0 week at the Providence Invitational as she marked 5.18 digs per set against Massachusetts Lowell, Fairleigh Dickinson and Brown for 57 total digs. Taylor also accumulated 12 assists in the winning weekend. Taylor notched 24 digs in the four-set victory over Brown in the tournament final after a 19-dig performance in a sweep over FDU and 14 in four sets against UMass-Lowell.

BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll

Kenzie Higareda, Georgetown, Sr., L (Woodbridge, Va.)

Higareda was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Georgetown Classic where she set the Hoya career record for digs (1,632 after the weekend). She posted 20-plus digs in two matches with 21 against Penn and 25 in the record-breaking performance against UNC Wilmington. She also marked nine aces on the 2-2 weekend for the Hoyas.

Jenna Rosenthal, Marquette, RS-Sr., MH (Fond du Lac, Wis.)

Rosenthal was named the MVP of the Marcia E. Hamilton Classic, where Marquette swept Kansas State, Western Kentucky and Saint Louis. Rosenthal totaled 13.0 blocks with five against Saint Louis, six against Western Kentucky and two against Kansas State. She also averaged 2.75 kills per set on the weekend.

Allison Barber, Providence, So., S (Woodbury, Minn.)

Barber received MVP awards for the Friar Classic as she led the tournament in assists recording 129 for the 3-0 Friars (11.73 per set). Against Brown she posted a double-double with 49 assists and 13 digs. For the tourney, she also tallied nine kills on a .309 attack percentage, five aces and seven blocks.

Erica Di Maulo, St. John’s, Jr., S (Milan, Italy)

Di Maulo was named the MVP of the Cornell Invitational where the Red Storm finished the weekend 2-1 with a 3-0 win over Siena, a five-set loss to Buffalo and a three-set sweep over host Cornell. Di Maulo averaged 9.50 assists, 1.40 kills and 2.90 digs per set on .308 hitting with a double-double in the Buffalo loss (14 digs, 45 assists).

Allie Olsonoski, Villanova, Jr., MB (New Orleans, La.)

Olsonoski was named to the All-Tournament team of the Kristen Dickmann tournament in Annapolis, Md. Olsonoski averaged 2.20 kills and 1.10 blocks per set on .426 hitting as VU went 2-1, sweeping Dartmouth and Navy but losing in five sets to Alabama.

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