Jaqua, Novotny tab first Player of the Week accolades of the season

Senior Madison Jaqua (Purdue Fort Wayne) and Olivia Novotny (Denver) garnered the first Summit League Player of the Week honors of the 2018 season.
Senior Madison Jaqua (Purdue Fort Wayne) and Olivia Novotny (Denver) garnered the first Summit League Player of the Week honors of the 2018 season.

By: Aubrie Laufenberg
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Following their performances in the opening weekend of the 2018 volleyball campaign, Purdue Fort Wayne's senior setter Madison Jaqua was tabbed The Summit League's Offensive Player of the Week, while Denver's senior libero/defensive specialist Olivia Novotny notched the accolade on the defensive end.

Jaqua recorded a league-high 12.91 assists per set on 142 assists during the opening weekend. In three matches, she notched two double-doubles with 51 assists and 14 digs in the 3-1 victory over Liberty and 44 assists and 13 digs against Oakland.

Novotny helped the Pioneers finish 2-1 in opening weekend after falling to No. 19 Utah in five sets. Novotny tallied 43 digs and 3.07 digs per set, while adding 17 assists to the stat sheet. She put up a team-high 17 digs in the 3-1 win over Saint Mary's and led the team in digs throughout the tournament.

Madison Jaqua, Purdue Fort Wayne

Senior | S | Kalamazoo, Mich.

  • Garnered her first career offensive player of the week accolade
  • Leads the league in assists per set with 12.91, which would have led the NCAA last season
  • Finished the weekend ranked 15th in the league for digs per set (3.00), second-most by any primary setter

Also nominated: Kayla Williams (North Dakota), Alexis Bachmeier (North Dakota State), Lydia Bartalo (Denver), Melanie Paternaude (Western Illinois), Claire Leonard (Omaha), Makenzie Hennen (South Dakota State), Taylor Wilson (South Dakota), CeCe Madison (Oral Roberts)

Olivia Novotny, Denver

Senior | L/DS | Germantown, Tenn.

  • Earned her first career defensive player of the week honor
  • Registered a career-best 17 digs and eight assists in the opening match against Saint Mary's
  • Her 13 digs against the Utes helped Denver outperform Utah on the defensive end 67 digs to 65

Also nominated: Alivia Fraase (North Dakota), Elizabeth Britner (Purdue Fort Wayne) Bella Lien (North Dakota State), Claire Grove (Western Illinois), Bella Sade (Omaha), Ellie Thein (South Dakota State), Anne Rasmussen (South Dakota), Taylan Nero (Oral Roberts)

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Through 36 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 115,000 at nine institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Purdue Fort Wayne (Purdue University Fort Wayne), the University of North Dakota, 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. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced 12 NCAA Champions along with over 100 Academic All-Americans, nearly 125 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.