SEWARD, Neb. – Fresh off its best collective defensive performance of the season, the Concordia University volleyball team fittingly had one of its own honored for her efforts in that aspect of the game. Senior Carli Smith has been named the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Volleyball Defensive Player of the Week, as announced by the league on Tuesday. Smith received the same honor on Oct. 9, 2012.
Smith piled up 30 combined digs and passed serve receive at a 96.8 percent clip (only one reception error) over last week’s seven sets versus both No. 12 Midland and Hastings. The 5-foot-3 native of Temecula, Calif., dug up 22 attacks in the four-set loss to the Warriors. She then posted eight digs in the straight-sets GPAC quarterfinal win over Hastings. Smith played a key role in limiting the Broncos to negative hitting percentages in all three sets.
Over 417 career sets played, Smith has 1,752 digs and a serve receive percentage of 93.9. She leads the Bulldogs with 399 digs on the season. She also topped Concordia in digs in each of her first three years.
The Bulldog libero joins sophomores Alayna Kavanaugh and Tiegen Skains as teammates who have earned a weekly honor this season. Kavanaugh was named setter of the week on Sept. 23 and Skains reeled in the overall player of the week award on Oct. 28.
Smith and fourth-seeded Concordia (20-11) return to the court at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday when they go up against top-seeded and sixth-ranked Northwestern (29-3) in Orange City, Iowa. The winner will advance to Saturday’s GPAC title game and play either No. 12 Midland (23-7) or Dordt (18-10).