ELMHURST, Ill. – For the second consecutive week and third time this season, North Dakota State's Mikaela Purnell was selected as the #SummitVB Defensive Player of the Week while South Dakota's Kelly Law picked up her first-career Player of the Week award on the offensive side of the ball.
Purnell continues to dominate in the digs category this season, posting totals of 29, 33 and seven over the weekend en route to being named the FAU Invitational Most Valuable Player and helping the Bison (9-3) secure the tournament title. In 11 sets played in Boca Raton, Fla., Purnell tallied 69 total digs for a 6.27 set average.
This season, Purnell boasts the fifth-best digs/set average in the NCAA (6.05) and leads the league in total digs with 254. Additionally, that 6.05 digs/set tally would rank No. 4 on The Summit League's all-time single-season digs/set list if the season ended today.
The Coyotes (6-6) climbed back to .500 after a 2-1 weekend at the Northern Colorado Classic thanks in part to the play of Law. A middle blocker from Minneapolis, Law registered a .400 hitting percentage in 13 sets for USD while also collecting 31.5 points and earning a spot on the all-tournament team. For the season, Law is hitting a league-best .420 in 26 sets played.
To qualify for the national hitting percentage rankings, an athlete must play in 66.7 percent of the team's sets. While Law is a couple percentage points shy of that standard—playing in 59 percent of South Dakota's sets this year—her .420 season mark would rank 26th in the NCAA and second on The Summit League's all-time single-season hitting percentage list.
Mikaela Purnell, North Dakota State
Sr. // L // Excelsior, Minn.
- Seven career Summit League Defensive Player of the Week titles
- Recorded her eighth-career 30-plus dig performance in a win over FAU
- 2017 FAU Invitational Most Valuable Player
- For the season: 11 double-digit dig performances
- For her career: 66 double-digit dig performances
- In NDSU history, ranks No. 1 in digs/set (4.55) and No. 9 in digs (1,342)
- In Summit League history, ranks No. 7 in digs/set (4.55)
- Summit League Defensive Player of the Year (2016)
Also nominated: Sydney Boerst (Fort Wayne), CeCe Madison (Oral Roberts), Anne Rasmussen (South Dakota), Claire Grove (Western Illinois)
Previous Winners: Aug. 28 – Mikaela Purnell (NDSU) | Sept. 5 – Bella Lien (NDSU) | Sept. 11 – Mikaela Purnell (NDSU)
Kelly Law, South Dakota
Sr. // MB // Minneapolis, Minn.
- Hit .750 – .158 – .412 in consecutive matches over the weekend for a .400 average
- Improved her 2017 hitting percentage to .420 (League-leader in that category)
- Named to the 2017 Northern Colorado Classic All-Tournament Team
- Earned her first #SummitVB Player of the Week award
Also nominated: Kayla Principato (Denver), Madison Jaqua (Fort Wayne), Brianna Rasmusson (NDSU), Laura Milos (Oral Roberts), Mackenzie Steckler (Western Illinois)
Previous Winners: Aug. 28 – Kayla Principato (Denver) | Sept. 5 – Brianna Rasmusson (NDSU) | Sept. 11 – Laura Milos (Oral Roberts)
ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Through 35 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 100,000 at eight institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Fort Wayne (Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne), North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University with the University of North Dakota becoming an official member on July 1, 2018. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced nine NCAA Champions along with over 90 Academic All-Americans, nearly 100 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague.