FAIRFIELD, Conn. - Sacred Heart University women's volleyball had numerous players earn NEC weekly awards as freshman Emma Smallcomb was named Co-Defensive Player of the Week and freshman Sarah Ciszek was named Rookie of the Week, as announced by the league Monday afternoon.
Ciszek and Smallcomb are the second and third players to earn weekly awards this season as red-shirt junior Liisel Nelis was named the Molten/NEC Player of the Week on Sept. 4.
Both Ciszek and Smallcomb were crucial in a 3-0 week for the Pioneers. Smallcomb led the way for SHU with 56 digs, averaging 4.67 digs per set during the week. In Sacred Heart's doubleheader on Saturday, Smallcomb averaged 5.44 digs per set in wins over Binghamton and Rhode Island. She dug up 27 Bearcat attempts which is the second most by an NEC player in a four-set match this season. Later that afternoon, she posted another 22 in a five-set thriller that saw the Pioneers squeak by the Rams. The Westborough, MA product now holds a 3.71 digs per set average on the season to lead SHU.
Ciszek claimed the MVP award at the Hampton Inn by Hilton Shelton Invitational, playing an integral role in the Pioneer attack. The freshman setter averaged 10 assists, 2.33 digs and 2.0 kills per set as Sacred Heart swept the competition. She had a career day in the four- set win over Binghamton going for her first collegiate triple-double with 45 assists, 13 digs and 11 kills. She nearly repeated that performance just a couple hours later totaling 49 assists, eight kills and seven digs in a 3-2 win over Rhode Island. Ciszek raised her season assist average to 9.10, which ranks her at the top of the conference by a significant margin.
Sacred Heart currently holds a 7-4 record and will be back in action on Friday, Sept. 21 when the Pioneers play host to Saint Francis Brooklyn at 6 p.m. in the Pitt Center.