Kaitlynn Pelger (Kansas State), Tayler Tolefree (Kansas) and Khat Bell (Texas) are Big 12 Volleyball Player of the Week recipients for matches Sept. 12-18. Pelger has been named the Offensive Player of the Week, her second career weekly honor after earning a Rookie of the Week distinction in 2010. Tolefree was tabbed the Defensive Player of the Week, while Bell collects Rookie of the Week honors.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Kaitlynn Pelger, Kansas State, MB, So., Olathe, Kan.
Pelger remains atop the Big 12 Conference in kills averaging 4.73 kills per-set. Last week, the sophomore guided the Wildcats to four victories to extend their winning streak to seven straight matches. During the four wins, Pelger averaged an astounding 5.19 kills per-set while also hitting .345. She was a force in nearly every area averaging 2.94 digs per-set and 1.06 blocks as well. She opened the week with a career-high 32 kills at home against Drake. The mark also ranks fifth in school history for a five-set match. She kept that pace going at the Saint Mary's Tournament over the weekend, averaging 4.64 kills over three matches to earn tournament MVP and help the Wildcats to three wins over quality opponents. Against Sacramento State, Pelger pounded out 22 kills over four sets. She hit .357 along with a pair of aces, nine digs and four blocks. In a sweep over Utah Valley, the middle blocker notched 11 kills and three blocks. She closed the tournament with 18 kills in KSU's four-set win over Saint Mary's with a .429 hitting percentage. Pelger is the only player in the Big 12 to be listed in the top 10 in five statistical categories as she ranks first in kills and points, fourth in hitting percentage, third in aces and eighth in blocks.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Tayler Tolefree, Kansas, MB, Jr., Lawrence, Kan.
Tolefree knocked down a team-best 22 blocks over the weekend, good for 1.83 blocks per-set. She helped the Jayhawks record more than three blocks (3.17) per set in the three-match span, propelling KU to the DePaul Invitational title. As a team, the Jayhawks are blocking 2.84 balls per-set, which ranks third in the Big 12. In a five-set battle against Valparaiso, Tolefree broke her personal best in kills by the end of the third set, racking up 17 total against the Crusaders. Adding to her brilliant effort, the junior blocked a career-best 11 balls for the first double-double of her career. Tolefree's 1.25 blocks per set on the season is tied for fifth in the Conference.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Khat Bell, Texas, OH, Fr., Mesquite, Texas
Bell shined for No. 8 Texas in its three victories at the 2011 Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational last weekend. The native of Mesquite, Texas, headlined the Horns' attack with a team-best .359 hitting percentage for the week, while registering 4.30 points, 3.40 kills and 2.20 digs per-set. She also led UT from behind the service line with a team-best six service aces and chipped in 0.50 blocks per-set. Bell's stellar performance landed her Texas Invitational Most Valuable Player accolades. In Texas' win over Santa Clara, Bell hit at a blistering .417 clip and posted a career-best three service aces, while chipping in one solo block and three digs. Bell registered a career-high 17 kills and hit at a .452 clip in the Horns' sweep of SMU. She added 10 digs to record her second kill/dig double-double of the season. She totaled two service aces and two total blocks in the win. In the Horns' victory over UTSA, Bell connected for 12 kills and nine digs, while adding two blocks and one service ace.
BIG 12 WEEKLY AWARDS
|Date||Offensive Player of the Week||Defensive Player of the Week||Rookie of the Week|
|Aug. 29||Molly Kreklow, Missouri, S, So.||Kristen Hahn, Iowa State, L, So.||Emily Wilson, Missouri, OH, Fr.|
|Sept. 6||Brittney Brimmage, Missouri, MB, Sr.||Aubree Piper, Texas Tech, MB, So.||Emily Wilson, Missouri, OH, Fr.|
|Sept. 12||Kelsey Black, Texas A&M, OH, Sr.||Rachael Adams, Texas, MB, Sr.||Breeann David, Texas Tech, OH, Fr.|
|Sept. 19||Kaitlynn Pelger, Kansas State, MB, So.||Tayler Tolefree, Kansas, MB, Jr.||Khat Bell, Texas, OH, Fr.|