SEWARD, Neb. – Two familiar names again found their way onto this week’s list of GPAC weekly honorees. Sophomore Jocelyn Garcia has been named the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Volleyball Defensive Player of the Week while junior Alayna Kavanaugh has been tabbed the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Volleyball Setter of the Week, as announced on Tuesday. It’s the fourth such honor for Kavanaugh and the third weekly award for Garcia this season.
Garcia continued her big production in the back row last week, piling up 40 digs over seven sets of action. Garcia has been especially effective over the past eight matches. During that stretch she is averaging 5.6 digs per set and has 20 or more digs in six contests. The native of Brighton, Colo., has moved up to sixth in the conference in digs per set (4.4). With her work as a defensive specialist, Concordia held Nebraska Wesleyan to a .132 hitting percentage and No. 17 Northwestern to a .169 clip as part of a pair of wins.
Kavanaugh shined in the victory at Nebraska Wesleyan, setting a new career high for assists in a straight-sets match with 49 as the Bulldogs pounded the floorboards with 54 kills. Ranked 12th nationally in assists per set (10.8), Kavanaugh quarterbacks an offense that averages 13.5 kills per set (17th most in the NAIA). Last week the Lincoln Christian High School product totaled 88 assists over seven sets. She added 14 digs and seven kills.
No. 20 Concordia (25-7) will continue action in the GPAC tournament on Wednesday when it hosts eighth-seeded College of Saint Mary (13-16) at 7:30 p.m. in a conference semifinal match. The winner will play at Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on the road against either second-seeded Midland (29-3) or third-seeded Hastings (25-7).