PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Louisville sophomore Lola Arslanbekova ended the reign of Cincinnati senior Stephanie Niemer by claiming her first career BIG EAST volleyball Player of the Week award as announced by the conference office on Monday. Arslanbekova is the first non-Cincinnati player to be named player of the week since Syracuse’s Noemie Lefebvre in the first week of the season on Aug. 30. Notre Dame’s Andrea McHugh was named Freshman of the Week for the fourth time this season.
Arslanbekova earns BIG EAST Player of the Week honors after leading the Cardinals to a five-set win over then-No. 21 Cincinnati on Oct. 16. The sophomore hit a blistering .419 from the outside with 24 kills. She ranked fifth in the conference for the week in hitting percentage and third in kills per set (4.80). Arslanbekova also recorded seven digs. The win gave Louisville a share of first place with a 6-1 record in the BIG EAST and broke Cincinnati’s 29-set winning streak. It was the 13th time this season Arslanbekova has recorded double-digit kills and her second-highest hitting percentage of the season.
McHugh earns BIG EAST Freshman of the Week honors by leading Notre Dame to a four-set win over DePaul on Oct. 15. McHugh ranked second in the conference in kills per set last week, averaging 5.75. She pounded a career-high 23 kills on a .340 clip against the Blue Demons. She also added six digs, an ace and two blocks. McHugh leads Notre Dame in kills per set (4.65), hitting percentage (.346) and aces (eight) in BIG EAST play.
Notre Dame senior Kellie Sciacca registered her 1,000th career kill in a win against DePaul on Oct. 15. West Virginia’s five-set win over Pittsburgh on Oct. 16 was its first victory over the Panthers in over 20 years. The Mountaineers have two wins all-time vs. Pittsburgh. Five of the seven conference matches played last week were decided in five sets. In three of those matches, teams trailed 2-0 before coming back to win 3-2.