Cincinnati, Notre Dame Claim BIG EAST Volleyball Weekly Honors

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Cincinnati senior Stephanie Niemer was named BIG EAST volleyball Player of the Week for a conference single-season record sixth time as announced by the league office on Monday. Notre Dame freshman Andrea McHugh was named BIG EAST Freshman of the Week for the fifth time this year. Also, four teams punched tickets to Pittsburgh for the 2010 BIG EAST Volleyball Championship. Niemer earns BIG EAST Player of the Week honors after leading Cincinnati to straight-set wins over IUPUI on Oct. 26 and Villanova on Oct. 31. Niemer recorded 12 kills and eight digs against IUPUI to go with a .300 hitting percentage. The senior followed that with her 11th double-double of the season against Villanova, putting together an 18-kill, 16-dig performance on a .552 hitting percentage. The Erlanger, Ky., native led the conference last week with 5.00 kills per set and ranked seventh in hitting percentage at .424. McHugh earns BIG EAST Freshman of the Week honors, helping Notre Dame to conference wins over St. John's on Oct. 30 and Connecticut on Oct. 31. The freshman secured her team-high eighth double-double of the season with a 17-kill, 14-dig performance against Connecticut. She also totaled eight kills and 12 digs against St. John's. McHugh led the Irish with 3.57 kills per set last week, while also posting 3.71 digs per set. She recorded her 300th kill of the season against Connecticut. Both Cincinnati and Notre Dame clinched berths to the BIG EAST Championship at Fitzgerald Field House in Pittsburgh, Pa., Nov. 19-21. Louisville and Marquette also earned trips with their victories last week. There are still four slots up for grabs with just two weekends remaining in regular-season play. Dig This Seton Hall senior Sarah Osmun became the first player in program history to reach the 1,500-kill mark for her career, doing so against Georgetown on Oct. 31. Notre Dame senior Kellie Sciacca became the ninth player in Irish history to collect 1,000 career kills and 400 career blocks. Of the 72 BIG EAST conference matches, 19 have been decided in five sets. Pittsburgh has played the most five-set matches in league action with four.