SPARTANBURG, S.C. – UNCG’s Allison Penner and Christina Gregory have been named Southern Conference volleyball offensive and defensive players of the week, respectively, for matches played Oct. 30 to Nov. 5, the conference office announced Monday. This is the first weekly award of Penner’s career and third of the season for Gregory, who helped the Spartans move into the third place in the SoCon standings after picking up two pivotal wins over the weekend.
Penner, a setter, helped the Spartans improve to 9-5 in conference play with 106 total assists, 24 digs,11 kills and four service aces over the weekend. On Friday, the junior handed out 54 assists as the Spartans earned a 3-1 win over league-leading Furman. Penner facilitated an offense that scored 63 kills and hit at a .230 average and chipped in 10 digs and a career-high three service aces in the victory. In Saturday’s five-set thriller against Wofford, Penner tallied 52 assists and 14 digs for her second consecutive double-double. The Aurora, Nebraska, native also tied her career high with six kills and blocked a Wofford attack to force match point in the fifth set. Penner finished the weekend with a .375 assist percentage on 283 total attempts and averaged 11.78 assist per set. Penner leads the SoCon with an average of 10.60 assist per set and her 54 assists against Furman is tied for the third-most in a four-set match this season.
Gregory, a libero, recorded 20-plus digs in back-to-back matches over the weekend for the third time this season. In the win over Furman, Gregory tallied 23 digs and four assists. In the five-set win over Wofford, the junior finished with 24 digs and two assists. Two of Gregory’s biggest digs of the weekend came in the winner-take-all fifth set against Wofford, as she dug out two opponent attacks to keep the game alive. In the two matches, Gregory received 26 opponent serves without allowing an ace and averaged 5.22 digs per set. The Louisville, Kentucky, native ranks fourth in the league with an average of 4.56 digs per set.
Also nominated for offensive player of the week: Sharlissa De Jesus (The Citadel), Rylee Milhorn (ETSU), Nicole Mack (Furman), Paige Alsten (Mercer), Shayla Phillip (Samford), Miranda Elpers (Chattanooga), Katie O’Connor (Western Carolina) and Catie Cronister (Wofford).
Also nominated for defensive player of the week: Marija Popovic (ETSU), Meg DeMaar (Furman), Grace Tiesman (Samford), Meagan Sanchez (Western Carolina) and Taylor Gill (Wofford).
2017 SoCon Volleyball Offensive Players of the Week
Aug. 28 Ally Ford, R-So., OH, Chattanooga
Sept. 4 Catie Cronister, So., OH, Wofford
Sept. 11 Paige Alsten, Jr., MB, Mercer
Sept. 18 Taylor Anderton, Jr., S, Samford
Sept. 25 Rylee Milhorn, Sr., OH, ETSU
Oct. 2 Nicole Mack, So., OH, Furman
Oct. 9 Catie Cronister, So., OH, Wofford
Oct. 16 Ashley Muench, Sr., OH, UNCG
Oct. 23 Moriah Smith, Sr., OH, The Citadel
Oct. 30 Taylor Anderton, Jr., S, Samford
Nov. 6 Allison Penner, Jr, S, UNCG
2017 SoCon Volleyball Defensive Players of the Week
Aug. 28 Megan Kaufman, Fr., DS/L, Chattanooga
Sept. 4 Christina Gregory, Jr., DS/L, UNCG
Sept. 11 Meg DeMaar, Sr., L, Furman
Sept. 18 Taylor Gill, Jr., L, Wofford
Sept. 25 Megan Kaufman, Fr., DS/L, Chattanooga
Oct. 2 Christina Gregory, Jr., DS/L, UNCG
Oct. 9 Meg DeMaar, Sr., L, Furman
Oct. 16 Braedyn Tutton, Jr., MB, ETSU
Oct. 23 Marija Popovic, Fr., Libero, ETSU
Oct. 30 Marija Popovic, Fr., Libero, ETSU
Nov. 6 Christina Gregory, Jr, L/DS, UNCG