ELMHURST, Ill. – Denver's Becca Latham secured her first-career #SummitVB Offensive Player of the Week title, while North Dakota State's Mikaela Purnell notched the eighth Defensive POTW honor of her career after posting a 8.67 digs/set average in two matches played.
Latham guided the Pioneers (14-5, 5-2) to an undefeated weekend on the court with wins over Western Illinois and South Dakota. In six sets, the junior from Austin, Texas, tallied 25 kills (4.17 kills/set) while hitting .457. In fact, Latham's .636 hitting percentage against the Coyotes is the best performance from an outside hitter from a Summit League athlete this season.
For North Dakota State's (14-5, 5-2) Purnell, she logged 52 total digs in winning efforts over Omaha and Western Illinois. Against the Mavericks, the senior from Excelsior, Minn., dug out 25 balls and followed up with 27 more versus the Leathernecks—marking the sixth time this season and 17th time in her career that Purnell has equaled/surpassed the 25-dig plateau.
Purnell ranks first on NDSU's all-time digs/set list (4.63) and seventh in the NCAA this season (5.88 digs/set).
Becca Latham, Denver
Jr. // Outside Hitter // Austin, Texas
- In six sets played: 25 kills (4.17 kills/set)
- For the weekend: hit .457 versus Western Illinois and South Dakota
- Among outside hitters, leads league with a .338 hitting percentage in 2017 (No. 2 overall)
- Totaled 29 points (4.8 pts./set) against the Leathernecks and Coyotes
- For the season: averaging 3.14 kills/set (ranks sixth league-wide)
- Denver Pioneers are 5-0 when Latham starts this season
- First-career Summit League Offensive Player of the Week
Also nominated: Katie Crowe (Fort Wayne), Brianna Rasmusson (NDSU), Laura Milos (ORU), Brittany Jessen (USD), Shalyn Greenhaw (WIU)
Previous Winners: Aug. 28 – Kayla Principato (Denver) | Sept. 5 – Brianna Rasmusson (NDSU) | Sept. 11 – Laura Milos (Oral Roberts) | Sept. 18 – Kelly Law (USD) | Sept. 25 – Laura Milos (ORU) | Oct. 2 – Laura Milos (ORU) | Oct. 9 – Hayley Dotseth (USD)
Mikaela Purnell, North Dakota State
Sr. // Libero // Excelsior, Minn.
- In six sets played: 53 digs (8.67 digs/set)
- Leads league in digs (394) and digs/set (5.88) this season
- For the season: six performances recording 25 digs or more
- Ranks seventh in the nation with a 5.88 dig/set season average
- North Dakota State's all-time leader in digs/set (4.63)
- Ranks sixth on NDSU's all-time digs list (1,482)
- Eighth-career Summit League Defensive Player of the Week title (T-2nd most all-time)
Also nominated: Emma Willis (Denver), Elizabeth Britner (Fort Wayne), Tori Roe (ORU), Anne Rasmussen, Claire Grove (WIU)
Previous Winners: Aug. 28 – Mikaela Purnell (NDSU) | Sept. 5 – Bella Lien (NDSU) | Sept. 11 – Mikaela Purnell (NDSU) | Sept. 18 – Mikaela Purnell (NDSU) | Sept. 25 – Anne Rasmussen (USD) | Oct. 2 – Anne Rasmussen (USD)| Oct. 9 – Anne Rasmussen (USD)
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.