Vivens, Cunningham Claim Season’s First Weekly Volleyball Awards

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first_imgWeek Two NotesFRISCO, Texas – Houston Baptist sophomore outside hitter Mikayla Vivens and Sam Houston State senior middle blocker Taylor Cunningham are the Southland Conference Volleyball Players of the Week, the league announced Monday.Vivens led the Huskies to a 3-0 weekend at home in the Barcelona Sporting Goods HBU Classic, picking up wins over Prairie View, Louisiana Tech and UTRGV. HBU stays in Houston this week; a Tuesday match at Texas Southern at 6:30 p.m. CT and visiting Rice for the adidas Invitational I this weekend. The team will face Liberty on Friday at 4 p.m., before taking on South Carolina on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and the tournament host Owls at 7 p.m. After falling to Drake in the season opener, Sam Houston State swept Texas Southern and Bethune-Cookman with the help of Cunningham’s work at the net and in the backrow. The Bearkats travel to the Sawyer Camillo Memorial Volleyball Classic in Lafayette, La., this weekend, contesting Mississippi Valley State and UL Lafayette on Friday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., respectively. Sam Houston will also play Houston on Saturday at noon.Offensive Player of the Week: Mikayla Vivens – Houston Baptist – So. – OH – San Antonio, TexasVivens earned MVP honors at the HBU Classic in a season-opening tournament that saw her record double-digit kills in all three matches, a pair of double-doubles and average 4.00 kills and 3.10 digs per set. Beginning the season with a 3-0 sweep over Prairie View, the San Antonio native tallied her first career double-double, posting 11 kills and 10 digs while also adding three aces. The sophomore outside hitter then downed 12 kills in Friday’s sweep over Louisiana Tech before topping off the weekend with career highs in kills (17) and digs (14) over UTRGV to clinch the tournament title.Honorable Mention: Haley Tippett, Central Arkansas; Katelyn Mueller, Abilene Christian; Danae Daron, Stephen F. AustinDefensive Player of the Week: Taylor Cunningham – Sam Houston State – Sr. – MB – Huntsville, TexasCunningham did it all for Sam Houston State over the weekend to receive all-tournament honors at the Bearkat Invitational. The senior middle blocker played all the way around for all three matches, averaging 1.33 blocks per set and putting up 4.78 digs to go with her team-best 2.67 kills per set. Her blocks and digs average rank her in the Southland top six for each category. She had at least two blocks and reached double-digit digs in each outing this weekend, holding the opposition to a .069 clip for the weekend. After starting off the season with six blocks and 16 digs against Drake, the Huntsville product delivered two blocks and 10 digs on Texas Southern before wrapping up the weekend with a career-best 17 digs in just three sets against Bethune-Cookmam to go with four blocks.Honorable Mention: Hannah Lewis, Houston Baptist; Lorin McNeil, Abilene Christian; Savanah Allen, Central Arkansas; Channing Burleson, Northwestern StateSouthland weekly award winners are nominated and voted upon by each school’s sports information director. Voting for one’s own athlete is not permitted. To earn honorable mention, a student-athlete must appear on 25 percent of ballots.last_img

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