JONESBORO, Ark. (9/14/09) - Arkansas State sophomore middle blocker Cayla Fielder and senior libero Heather Bowman have been named the Sun Belt Conference Volleyball Player and Defensive Player of the Week, respectively, as voted on by the league's 13 head coaches. The award marks the first for both student-athletes this season and the first time a school has swept the awards since Denver during the 2007 season.
"I think it's a great honor to receive any conference award," said ASU head coach Justin Ingram. "I think it's a credit to how we've been playing as a team and how strong we've been this past week. I think overall our effort was strong."
Fielder earned tournament Most Valuable Player honors for the second consecutive weekend at the Mississippi State Bulldog Invitational, leading the Red Wolves to an undefeated week and their ninth consecutive win. Fielder pounded out a team high 43 kills on the weekend, averaging 3.91 kills per set. She led the Red Wolves with 14 blocks over the three-match tournament. In ASU's 3-0 win over UT-Martin Tuesday night, Fielder led the team with four blocks and added 11 kills, hitting .400 in the match.
On the season, Fielder has recorded a league-best 48 total blocks -
1.45 per set - along with 111 kills and a .366 hitting percentage. The local Jonesboro product has put ASU atop the Sun Belt in blocks and opponent hitting percentage, as the Red Wolves lead the league with 94 blocks -- a 2.69 per set average -- while limiting their competitors to just a .114 hitting percentage.
Bowman notched a career-high 31 digs in ASU's 3-1 win over Eastern Michigan Saturday in the Mississippi State Bulldog Invitational.
Bowman earned her second all-tournament honor of the 2009 season over the weekend with her 70 digs, four service aces and six assists. She also led the Red Wolves with 20 digs Tuesday night in ASU's 3-0 win over UT-Martin.
Bowman also leads the league with 192 total digs and has helped ASU top the conference in the same statistical category. Behind Bowman's
5.82 digs per set, the Red Wolves have registered 572 digs so far this season, for their conference-best 16.34 per set average.
"Offensively, Cayla was tremendous at the Mississippi State tournament and Bowman was very strong defensively," added Ingram. "I give a lot of credit to those two players. They're playing great for us, and we have to keep it going this weekend at UT-Arlington."