LEXINGTON, Ky. – One day after being named BIG EAST volleyball Player of the Week, Cincinnati senior Stephanie Niemer has been named Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week as announced by the American Volleyball Coaches Association on Tuesday.
Niemer is the first player in BIG EAST history to earn the distinction of Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week and first player in Cincinnati history. The senior outside hitter garnered MVP honors at a tournament in Louisville, Ky., helping the Bearcats go 2-0 against a pair of Big Ten opponents.
The Erlanger, Ky., native began the weekend by blasting 28 kills on .338 hitting in Cincinnati's five-set win over then-No. 5 Illinois. The senior sparkplug also contributed 15 digs, three aces, two blocks and two assists in the outing, notching her seventh double-double of the season. The following day, in the Bearcats' sweep of Purdue, Niemer smashed 32 kills (.453) and totaled eight digs, three blocks and two aces. It was her second 30-kill performance in three matches. For the week, Niemer averaged 7.50 kills, 2.88 digs and 8.56 points per set, while hitting at a .391 clip.
The Bearcats are now 2-0 versus ranked opponents this season, with Niemer notching a combined 46 kills in those two matches. The wins boosted Cincinnati into the latest AVCA Top 25 Coaches’ Poll released on Monday, as the Bearcats are now ranked No. 25 in the country. The Bearcats are the first BIG EAST team to crack the top 25 this season.