Omaha, Neb. / Mercy
The Augsburg volleyball team continued its hot start over the season's two weeks by going 4-1 in nonconference play - including four-straight wins at its home tournament. Offensively, Colleen Ourada (Omaha, Neb./Mercy) has been the catalyst for much of the Auggies' success, as the junior had at least 14 kills in each of their five matches last week and earned All-Tournament Team honors at her squad's home invite. For her performance, Ourada has been named the MIAC Volleyball Hitter-of-the-Week.
The Augsburg outside hitter started with a 14-kill, 18-dig performance in a 3-1 loss to UW-Stout Tuesday, then stepped up even more over the weekend. Ourada had 20 kills and 18 digs in a 3-1 win over Coe and 19 kills and 14 digs in a 3-1 victory over UW-Stevens Point Friday, and she followed with a 20-dig, 17-kill performance in a 3-1 win over St. Scholastica and she had 18 kills and 12 digs in a 3-1 win over Northwestern Saturday. She added 14 total blocks and a .262 hitting percentage for the week. Thus far in 2012, Ourada's 131 kills and 3.97 kills per set lead the MIAC.
Augsburg's four-win weekend helped the Auggies continue their great start with a 7-2 overall record. Augsburg has another busy week on tap, including its MIAC opener Wednesday on the road at Saint Benedict. Both team's first league match of the season is set to start at 7 p.m. Later in the week, the Auggies have another tournament on tap in Mount Vernon, Iowa, where they'll play four nonconference matches - two apiece Friday and Saturday.
MIAC Volleyball Setter/Libero-of-the-Week
Sanborn, Minn. / Red Rock Central
Bethel delighted the home fans over the weekend, as its volleyball squad won all four of its matches at its home invitational to continue its great start to the 2012 season. Cierra Nickel (Sanborn, Minn./Red Rock Central) had a huge role in the Royals' success this week, directing a remarkably efficient offensive attack and earning All-Tournament Team honors. The sophomore setter racked up 165 assists in the four wins while helping Bethel to a great .238 hitting percentage as a team. For her performance, Nickel has been named the MIAC Volleyball Setter/Libero-of-the-Week.
Nickel may have had her best performance right out of the gate, dishing out 49 assists in two aces and seven digs in a 3-1 win over Linfield Friday. She added 41 assists in each of the Royals' 3-1 victories over Martin Luther Friday (3-1) and Central (3-0) Saturday. She finished her tremendous tournament with 34 assists and eight digs in a 3-0 sweep of Northland College. She averaged 11.79 assists per set over the weekend, and she currently ranks third in the MIAC in total assists (283) and second in assists per set (3.88). Bethel has claimed the league's Setter/Libero honor both weeks thus far in 2012, as defensive specialist Val Smith earned the Sept. 4 award.
The Royals' four wins at their home tournament helped them continue their terrific start at 7-1 overall. Bethel hopes to keep its hot start rolling Wednesday when it opens MIAC play with a home 7 p.m. match against St. Olaf in Arden Hills, Minn. After its first conference match of the season, the Royals will hit the road for four matches at Cornell's invitational in Mount Vernon, Iowa, with two on Friday and two more Saturday.