The Great American Conference named their volleyball player of the week the Oklahoma Baptist outside of batsman Malia Leatherland, the offensive player, the center blocker of Oklahoma Baptist Audrey Poupard, to conquer defensive player and Harding student Sarah Morehead.
Leatherland was instrumental in the wins against Newman, No. 20 Washburn and No. 11 Nebraska-Kearney, scoring 15 kills and hitting .433 against the No. 20 Ichabods. Against the Lopers, who finished first in the preseason, she racked up 13 kills plus one match-deciding kill.
Poupard collected seven of the team’s 13 blocks in the game against Washburn and collected eight blocks in the five-set win over Nebraska-Kearney. Poupard averaged 1.38 blocks per set per week.
Morehead averaged 14 assists per set in Harding’s win over Arkansas-Monticello while tackling nine digs and one set of aces. The Lady Bisons are 5-0 for the first time since their 2017 season when they had eleven wins.
Defensive specialist from East Central / Libero Thalianette Garcia, middle blocker Emily Low from Ouachita Baptist, full-back Violeta Mendoza Quintana from Henderson State, outside hitter Logan Smith from Harding and outside hitter Rilie Vote from Arkansas Tech were also nominated for the offensive player. For defensive players, OBU sweeper Lexie Castillow, Arkansas tech sweeper Madison Grantham, East Central outside hitter Darcie Kaiser and Harding defensive specialist Emma Winiger were also considered. OBU’s Kellen Church, Sydney Dungen from East Central and Morgan Schuster from Southern Arkansas were nominated as setters.
GAC MEN’S SOCCER PLAYER OF THE WEEK
At its first weekly soccer awards of the season, the GAC awarded Fort Hays State forward Blake Arndt the Offensive Award, Fort Hays State defender Kieran Brown the Defensive Award and Northeastern State’s James Doyle the Goalkeeper Award.
Arndt scored two goals in Fort Hays’ win over Newman on Thursday, one in each half. The second player’s first record came in the ninth minute after a header from a cross from Taisei Arima and in the 80th minute after a cross from Viktor Robertsson.
In Fort Hays’ 2-1 win over Southern Nazarene, Brown played full-time and won the game with a goal in the 81st minute of the game. The goal was his fourth game win.
Brown saved three shots in NEOSU’s 4-0 win over Newman, and in two career starts against the Jets, the runner-up has not given up a goal and conceded only one goal or less in six of his seven starts.
Rogers State midfielder Jesus Ramirez, Juan Rodarte, Southern Nazarene striker, and Tom Singhgolden, NEOSU midfielder, were considered for the attacking award. Fort Hays defender Alec Beis and Rogers State defender Jaime Ponce were nominated for the defensive player, while Rogers State goalkeeper Austin Wormell was considered for the goalkeeper award.
GAC WOMEN’S SOCCER PLAYER OF THE WEEK
The GAC named striker Kaylee Swaner Oklahoma Baptist Offensive Player of the Week, Southwestern State defender Elizabeth Moreno won the Defender’s award and Oklahoma Baptist Mia Pendleton won Goalkeeper of the Week.
Swaner scored the first goals of her career in Oklahoma Baptist’s 5-0 win over Southern Nazarene. The Bulldogs scored their first goal in the 23rd minute and their second in the 59th minute after a Keely Hampton cross and Emily Griffith shot.
Moreno played 172 of 180 minutes and allowed only four shots on goal in a 1-0 win over East Central and a 2-0 win over NWOSU.
In just her third career start, Pendleton collected her first shutout when she scored seven saves in a 5-0 win over Southern Nazarene. The conceded goal was able to lower her goals against the average to 0.67 as her savings percentage rose to 0.875.
SWOSU striker Brianna Benitez and OBU striker Jamie Fowler were nominated as attacking players, OBU defender Hanna Thompson was considered for the defender honor and SWOSU goalkeeper Ashley Hughes was nominated for the goalkeeper award.