PROVIDENCE, R.I. â€“ Itâ€™sdÃ©jÃ vu in BIG EAST volleyball, as Cincinnati senior Stephanie Niemer was named BIG EAST volleyball Player of the Week and Notre Dame freshman Andrea McHugh was named BIG EAST Freshman of the Week as announced by the conference office on Monday. It is the second consecutive week the pair has been honored by the league. For Niemer, it is her fourth straight Player of the Week honor and the sixth of her career. McHugh earns Freshman of the Week for the third time this season.
Niemer earns BIG EAST Player of the Week honors after helping the Bearcats to conference wins last week at St. Johnâ€™s and Connecticut. Niemer and the Bearcats have won eight straight matches, including six consecutive in straight sets. The senior led the conference last week with 5.50 kills per set, including 12 kills at St. Johnâ€™s on Oct. 1 and 21 kills at Connecticut on Oct. 3. Niemer also had a .475 hitting percentage against the Huskies to go with six digs. The Erlanger, Ky., native finished the week with a .392 hitting percentage to complement 1.67 digs per set and 1.00 blocks per set.
The victories moved Cincinnati from No. 22 to No. 21 in the latest AVCA Coachesâ€™ Poll. It is the highest ranking for a BIG EAST squad in the national poll since Nov. 5, 2007 when Louisville was ranked No. 17. The Bearcats have appeared in the poll for three consecutive weeks.
McHugh earns BIG EAST Freshman of the Week honors while assisting the Irish to a 2-0 week with straight-set wins over USF and Georgetown. The Yorba Linda, Calif., native set a career high with 19 kills - the most by an Irish player in a three-set match since 2006 - at Georgetown on Oct. 3 while hitting at a .562 clip. The effort came on the heels of posting 13 kills and five aces at USF on Oct. 1, making her the first Irish player with five aces in a contest since 2007. McHugh ranked second in the conference for the week in kills (5.33 per set) and third in hitting percentage (.475).
Notre Dame has a 19-match regular-season conference winning streak. It is the sixth longest active winning streak in the nation. West Virginia leads the nation in digs per set, averaging 19.94.
Weekly Honor Roll:
Ashley Beyer, Marquette, Jr., OH
Averaged 4.86 kills per set and 2.57 digs per set, including a double-double (17 kills, 10 digs) against Villanova.
Imani Harper, Pittsburgh, Sr., MH
Averaged 4.00 kills per set and notched a .377 hitting percentage. Recorded 19 kills in win over Pittsburgh.
Tanya Lukyanenko, Louisville, So., OH
Averaged 3.67 kills per set, setting a career-high with 12 kills on a .435 hitting percentage against Connecticut.
Meghan Matusiak, Seton Hall, Jr., OPP
Recorded double-doubles in both matches last week, with 23 kills, 12 digs against WVU and 14 kills, 19 digs against Pitt.
Kellie Sciacca, Notre Dame, Sr., MB
Ranked ninth in the conference with a .432 hitting percentage last week, averaging 3.33 kills per set.