When a player has a great all around weekend and helps her team to historic upsets of a pair of Top 5 teams, it seems like a no-brainer that she would be the National Player of the Week.
Michigan State outside hitter Autumn Bailey did just that, but making the decision wasn’t as easy as one might think as several players turned up the volume on their performances in conference openers. You’ll see several of them on our honorable mention and other notables lists below.
But first, let’s talk about Bailey, our VolleyMob National Player of the Week for week 5. The redshirt senior notched 4.75 digs and 3.75 kills per set to lift the Spartans to road wins over No. 3 Minnesota and No. 5 Wisconsin. The Georgetown, Ontario, native posted double-doubles in both upsets, notching 16 kills and a career-best and match-high 25 digs against Wisconsin and following that with at 14-kill, 13-dig effort vs. Minnesota. For her efforts, she also was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week.
And now to our honorable mention list. It was hard paring it down this week with strong offensive, defensive and setting efforts across the country.
Lauren Twitty – So., OH, New Mexico
6.50 kps; .391 hitting percentage; 25 kills vs. Wyoming on a .442 hitting effort with 10 digs; 14 kills vs. No. 23 Colorado State
Courtney Pence – Jr., L, Illinois State
7.38 digs per set; Missouri Valley Defensive Player of the Week; tallied 36 digs against Missouri State on Friday; registered 23 digs in a sweep of Southern Illinois Saturday; currently leads the Valley in total digs (356) and digs per set (6.36), while ranking second nationally.
Amy Underdown – So., MB, Northeastern
5.5 kills per set, 3.63 digs per set; Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Week; 28 kills, 16 digs vs. UNCW; 28 kills are the most for a Northeastern player since 2008; posted 16-kill, 13-dig double-double, 2 aces vs. College of Charleston
Piper Thomas – Jr., MH, Northern Iowa
.354 hitting percentage and a team-best 36 kills (5.14 kills/set) in road wins over Valparaiso and Loyola (Chicago); Missouri Valley Offensive Player of the Week; tallied a career-high 23 kills (.373 hitting percentage) to go along with three blocks in a 3-1 win at Valparaiso; added 13 kills (.323 hitting percentage) and four blocks in a 3-0 sweep of Loyola..
Danielle Cuttino – Sr., OH, Purdue
6.5 kills per set; .350 hitting percentage against Northwestern and Ohio State; posted 16 kills, .345 hitting percentage vs. Northwestern; notched 23 kills, .353 hitting percentage vs. OSU
Lauren Mills – Sr., OH, SMU
4.86 kills, 3.71 digs per set, .302 hitting percentage; American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week; 23 kills, 12 digs vs. Tulane; 11 kills, 14 digs vs. Houston
Bailey Williams – So., OH, George Mason
4.44 kills and 3.33 digs per set at Duquesne & LaSalle. Notched 17-kill, 11-dig double-double against Duquesne and 23-kill, 19 dig double-double vs. LaSalle. Made good on 98 percent of 48 serve receive chances.
Jesse Earl – Sr., L, Auburn
6.26 dps; SEC Defensive Player of the Week; 26 digs vs. Ole Miss with two aces and perfect 24-for-24 effort on serve receive; notched 18 digs and an ace and went 12-for-12 in serve reception agaisnt Georgia; helped Auburn limit opponents to .137 hitting effort
Annika Albrecht – Nebraska
Alyssa Cavanaugh – Western Kentucky
Kelly Hunter – Nebraska
Milica Kubura – Florida State
Jenna Kuehn – Gonzaga
Abbie Lehman – Wichita State
Laura Milos – Oral Roberts
Jac’Cara Walker – Marshall