Cal Poly Duo, UC Irvine's Akpakpa Honored
TORREY VAN WINDEN, CAL POLY – PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Junior • OH • Napa, Calif. • UCLA
• Cal Poly junior Torrey Van Winden earned her third Player of the Week honor this season – fifth of her career – knocking down a season-high in kills in a key league match.
• In a battle between undefeated conference squads, Van Winden propelled the Mustangs to a four-set win over Hawai‘i with 29 kills in front of a sold out Mott Athletics Center.
• The 6-foot-3 outside hit .344 for the match with just seven errors in 64 attempts.
• Van Winden added 14 digs for her sixth double-double of the season and chipped in four block assists.
• Van Winden helped the Mustangs continue a trio of impressive winning streaks as they won their 15th straight match overall, for the 17th consecutive time at Mott and for the 23rd time in a row against a Big West opponent.
Others nominated: Aeryn Owens (CSUN); Tyler Spriggs (Long Beach State); Idara Akpakpa (UC Irvine); Yuliya Ushakova (UC Riverside); Rowan Ennis (UC Santa Barbara); McKenna Granato (Hawai‘i)
AVALON DeNECOCHEA, CAL POLY – FRESHMAN PLAYER OF THE WEEK
S • San Diego, Calif. • University HS
• Avalon DeNecochea collected her second Freshman Player of the Week honor after directing the Cal Poly offensive to a impressive victory over Big West rival Hawai‘i.
• A 6-foot-2 setter, DeNecochea dished out 49 assists in a 25-19, 25-18, 21-25, 27-25 win in front of a sell out crowd of 3,032 at Mott Athletics Center.
• The 49 helpers came up just two short of her career-high. Both clubs came into the match unbeaten in Big West play, but the Mustangs wrested away sole possession of first place with the triumph.
• DeNecochea also contributed three kills, nine digs and a solo block in her first career match against UH.
• The Mustangs hit .257 overall as a team, compared to just .179 for UH.
Others nominated: Nicole Nevarez (CSUN); Allison Martinez (Long Beach State); Josie Ough (UC Davis); Abby Marjama (UC Irvine); Nailah Jones (UC Riverside)
IDARA AKPAKPA, UC IRVINE – DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Senior • MB • Brentwood, Calif. • Liberty HS
• Earning her second career Defensive Player of the Week award – and the first since 2015 as a freshman – Idara Akpakpa proved to be a huge presence at the net for UC Irvine.
• The 6-foot middle blocker averaged 1.71 blocks per set to help the Anteaters topple Long Beach State in four sets and sweep CSUN in back-to-back road tilts.
• Akpakpa tied her career best with nine blocks, including a career-high three solo blocks, against the 49ers. After dropping the first set, the ‘Eaters looked to Akpakpa to alter the momentum and she did. UCI led 9-8 in set two when Akpakpa recorded a kill and was involved in three straight blocks to increase her squad’s lead to 13-8. Trailing 22-21 in the third set, Akpakpa instigated a 4-0 run with a solo block and capped it off with a block assist as UCI polished off the set, 25-22.
• Akpakpa also earned the match-clinching kill against LBSU, one of 10 on the night. She hit .571 (10-2-14).
• Against the Matadors, Akpakpa hit .429 with eight kills and added three block assists and a dig.
• For the week, she averaged 2.57 kills while hitting .500 (18-4-28).
Others nominated: Katherine Brouker (Cal Poly); Kristey Markle (CSUN); Carly Hill (Long Beach State); Nicole Rodriguez (UC Riverside); Emilia Petrachi (UC Santa Barbara); Reyn Akiu (Hawai‘i)