RICHMOND, Va., Oct. 22, 2012 – James Madison freshman middle blocker MacKenzie Kleespies (Lincoln University, Pa./Avon Grove) has been named the Colonial Athletic Association Rookie of the Week, the league announced on Monday. This is her first career conference honor and the fifth honor garnered by JMU this season.
Kleespies helped lead the Dukes to a 1-1 record last week, including a conference win over Georgia State. She started the week with 11 kills on .205 hitting to go with 14 digs and a career-high eight blocks against Virginia on Tuesday. She followed that performance up with a career-high 12 kills, averaging 4.00 per set, seven digs and a block in a 3-0 sweep at GSU on Friday night. Overall, Kleespies averaged 2.88 kills and 2.63 digs per set while filling in at middle blocker for the Dukes.
Since joining the starting rotation five matches ago, the rookie from Lincoln University, Pa., has averaged 2.00 kills, 2.32 digs and 0.95 blocks in 19 sets played. On the season, she has appeared in 69 sets and is averaging 1.06 kills and 2.59 digs.
Kleespies joins freshman outside hitter Meghan Niski (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) as the second Madison player to be named Rookie of the Week this season. Sophomore middle blocker Lizzy Briones (Siloam Springs, Ark./Siloam Springs) and junior libero Katie Daorai (Tampa, Fla./Plant) are the other players to claim conference honors. Briones was the Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 10 while Daorai garnered Defensive Player of the Week accolades twice.
Delaware’s Alissa Alker and Towson’s Katy Buck shared the CAA Offensive Player of the Week award while Delaware’s Ariel Shonk claimed Defensive Player of the Week.
The Dukes return to action this weekend as they continue their four-game road trip in Williamsburg, Va., and Wilmington, N.C. Madison takes on William & Mary at 7 p.m. on Friday night before traveling down to UNCW for a 1 p.m. game on Sunday.
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