RICHMOND, Va., Oct. 15, 2012 – James Madison volleyball junior libero Katie Daorai (Tampa, Fla./Plant) has been named the Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Week, the league announced on Monday. This is the second time she has garnered the award this season, and it is her sixth conference recognition overall.
Daorai helped JMU go 1-1 in a pair of conference matches last week. She averaged 4.88 digs per set, including a match-high 23 digs in a five-set thriller against Towson. The third-year Duke also had 16 digs in a sweep against two-time defending CAA Champion Delaware. Her 16 digs against the Blue Hens pushed her over 1,000 digs for her career, making her the 10th player in school history to surpass that mark and the third this season. After this weekend’s action, Daorai ranks sixth in school history with 1,035 digs.
On the season, Daorai has a team-best 293 digs and is averaging 4.65 digs per set. She ranks fifth in the conference in digs per set while JMU, as a team, leads the CAA with 16.99 digs per set.
This is the fourth time in her career Daorai has been the CAA Defensive Player of the Week after winning it twice as a sophomore. As a freshman, she was named the CAA Rookie of the Week twice. Towson’s Marta Machos claimed CAA Player of the Week accolades while Delaware’s Katie Hillman is the Rookie of the Week.
JMU is back in action on Tuesday as it welcomes Virginia to Sinclair Gymnasium for its final non-conference tilt of the season. Madison comes into the week at 10-10 overall after splitting its matches against Delaware and Towson over the weekend.
In addition to ranking first in the CAA in digs, the Dukes rank third in the conference in hitting percentage, opponent hitting percentage and service aces. They are fifth in assists and kills and ninth in blocks. Madison is hitting .216 on the season while limiting opponents to just a .187 attack percentage. The team is averaging 13.03 kills per set while handing out 11.93 assists per set.
Senior outside hitter Danielle Erb (Tampa, Fla./Plant) ranks third in the league in points per set (3.96), fourth in kills (3.37) and seventh in service aces (0.30). Redshirt senior outside hitter Natalie Abel (Washington, Pa./Trinity) is sixth in kills (3.30) and seventh in points (3.62) while sophomore middle blocker Lizzy Briones (Siloam Springs, Ark./Siloam Springs) is eighth in points (3.57) and ninth in hitting percentage (.302). Senior setter Megan Wiechmann (Sunland, Calif./Village Christian) is handing out 9.49 assists per set to rank third in the league.
The Cavaliers have dropped eight straight matches, all against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents, to fall to 5-14 on the season and 0-9 in the ACC. They are 0-6 in true road games and just 2-8 away from Charlottesville. The Cavs last victory came in five sets against Liberty at home on Sept. 15.
Offensively, UVA is led by right side hitter/setter Tori Janowski with 2.63 kills per set on .222 hitting. She has played in all 67 sets this season, adding 390 assists, 148 digs, 39 blocks and 19 service aces. Middle blocker Jessica O’Shoney adds 2.51 kills per set on .231 hitting to go with 56 blocks. Middle blocker Morgan Blair is the team leader in blocks with 58 while rookie outside hitter Natalie Bausback is averaging 2.34 kills per set.
Rachel Grey shares the setting duties with Janowski. She is averaging 4.60 assists per set to go with 122 digs and eight service aces. Libero Emily Rottman leads the team in digs with 282, averaging 4.21 digs per set.
Dennis Hohenshelt is in his first season as the head coach of the Cavaliers. Prior to coming to Charlottesville, Hohenshelt spent six seasons as an assistant coach at Penn State where he helped lead the Nittany Lions to four consecutive NCAA Championships from 2007-10.
The Dukes and Cavaliers have played 36 times dating back to 1979. UVA leads the all-time series 21-15, including winning the last six and 17 of the last 18. The last meeting between the teams was a 3-1 win by UVA in Harrisonburg on Aug. 30, 2009. JMU has won just six of the 16 matches played in Harrisonburg and lost the last nine played at home.
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