Price returns to Penn State

Blake Nash, Staff Reporter

The Eastern volleyball team will head east to Penn State for its final early-season tournament Friday. Penn State is currently ranked No. 3 in the nation, following victories over American University, Villanova, Kansas and Yale last week in Philadelphia.

Penn State senior Nia Grant was named Big Ten Player of the Week, while senior teammate Micha Hancock was named the conference’s setter of the week. Grant led the Nittany Lion attack with a .618 hitting percentage, and double digit kills in three of the four matches.

Hancock tallied 21 service aces, including a season-high eight, against American. She also averaged 11.6 assists per game, and was crowned the Villanova Classic’s Most Outstanding Player. Four former Nittany Lion players will return as coaches this weekend, including Eastern’s Kate Price, who won a national championship as part of the 2007-08 squad.

Racers Remain Unbeaten

In the Ohio Valley Conference, Murray State continued its undefeated season during the weekend, as the Racers took first place at the Chattanooga Classic in Chattanooga, Tenn., on Saturday.

The Racers swept both Mississippi Valley and Wright State in three sets, before outlasting host Chattanooga in five sets. This marks the Racers’ first 9-0 start in program history.

Attacker Alyssa Lelm recorded 31 kills, five assists and eight digs total, en route to her selection to the all-tournament team. The junior also surrendered only four errors in 51 attempts.

The Racers will now head to Valparaiso for their final tournament, where they will play against George Washington, Sacramento State and the host Valparaiso before conference play.

OVC Players of the Week

Tennessee Tech’s Cody Dodd was named OVC Offensive Player of the Week, recording 47 kills and only 15 errors at the McNeese State Invitational. The Golden Eagles finished 2-2, following victories over Alcorn State and Prairie View A&M, and losses to Louisiana-Monroe and McNeese State.

Eastern’s Allie Hueston was also nominated, recording 26 kills, six aces, five blocks and seven digs overall.

Tennessee-Martin’s Chelsea Bowles earned OVC Defensive Player of the Week, as she tallied a season-high 30 digs in the Skyhawks’ victory over Western Carolina. It was the third time in her career that she reached the 30-dig mark.

Eastern libero Stephanie Wallace was also nominated, having averaged 12.6 digs per game at South Dakota State during the Panthers’ tournament in Brookings, S.D.

Freshman Jennifer Hart of Jacksonville State, recorded a pair of double-doubles in wins over UAB and Mercer. Against UAB she recorded 37 assists and 11 digs, and later posted 38 assists and 15 digs in the win over Mercer. She even recorded a collegiate-high, 48 assists, against Ole Miss.

Eastern’s Marah Bradbury was also nominated, following a 39-assist performance against North Dakota State.

Blake Nash can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]