Sun Belt Conference Volleyball news and notes

From the Sun Belt Conference

For the first time in school history, a Louisiana-Monroe player was named a Sun Belt Conference volleyball player of the week this week as ULM's Marcela Urbina was named the league's defensive player of the week. The SBC's leader in attack percentage, Arkansas State's Cayla Fielder, was named the Sun Belt's player of the week.

Senior Cayla Fielder helped Arkansas State go 2-0 over the weekend and extend its home match winning streak to four games with victories over South Alabama and Troy this past weekend. Fielder had 22 kills against South Alabama on Friday in ASU's 3-1 victory over the Jaguars. She averaged 5.50 kills per set and had just four errors in the match. Against Troy she had 18 kills in A-State's sweep over the Lady Trojans. She averaged 6.00 kills per set and finished with a career-high .750 attacking percentage with no errors. For the week she had 40 kills, a 5.71 kills per set average and a .554 attacking percentage. She has 81 kills against Sun Belt Conference teams this season, which tops the conference. She also leads the conference with a .371 attacking percentage in all matches, and a .486 percentage in conference matches.

Marcela Urbina has emerged as the defensive stronghold for the Warhawks and helped lead them to snap their 83-match losing streak in Sun Belt play this week and also end a 17-match losing streak against North Texas three days later. Urbina has filled the starting libero position since Sun Belt play has started and has quickly moved up the rankings after a week where she averaged 4.43 digs per set and tied her career-high. The freshman picked up 18 digs and 19 digs in ULM's wins over UL-Lafayette and North Texas, respectively, before tying her career-best in digs with 25 against Denver, the third time she has reached that mark this season. Urbina ranks fifth in the Sun Belt in digs in conference matches only, averaging 4.00 per set while ranking ninth with 3.35 per set when including all matches.


· WKU's 17-1 start to the season is the second best in school history and with a win on Tuesday against Middle Tennessee, WKU could match the best start in program history. The Lady Toppers have won 14 matches in a row, tied for the third-longest streak.

· After a seven-match losing streak earlier this season, the Middle Tennessee volleyball team enters Tuesday's divisional showdown with Western Kentucky on the heels of three consecutive victories, including sweeps at Florida Atlantic and FIU.

· Florida Atlantic's Georgia Robinson went over 500 career kills this past weekend and can go over 600 by the end of the weekend. Cintia Nightingale went over 800 career digs and is still on pace to go over 1,000 by the end of the season despite missing Saturday's match due to injury.

· Arkansas State is off to its best start in conference play since 2009 with a 4-1 start. The Red Wolves also started 4-1 in 2009 and went on to finish 12-6 in conference.

· Louisiana-Lafayette snapped a four-match losing streak on Sunday with a 3-1 win over North Texas. Tonice White threw down a career-high 17 kills and hit .630 in leading the Cajuns to victory. As a team, Louisiana posted a season-high 59 kills and a Sun Belt season-high .245 hitting percentage. Taylor Meade's 38 service aces this season has increased her career total to 87, which leaves her two shy of the Top 5 in the rally scoring era.

· ULM had one of it best weeks in Sun Belt Conference play in over five seasons after picking up two huge upsets over league opponents. ULM finally snapped an 83-match conference losing streak with a 3-1 win against UL-Lafayette Tuesday on the road and backed it up with another huge 3-2 win over North Texas at home Friday. The win against the Mean Green ended a 17-match losing streak to them dating back to 1992 and gave the Warhawks just their second back-to-back conference wins since 2006. Freshman Alannah Cullum also set a new personal best in blocks with an impressive 12 stuffs against Denver, which set a new ULM record for block assists in a five-set match.

· Troy junior Devin Von Pingel has snuck into the school leaderboards as she finds herself ranked ninth (34) in block solos, ninth (157) in block assists and seventh (191) in total blocks. Sophomore libero Courtney Cohen, who set Troy's freshman record with 431 digs a season ago, is on pace to make more history in 2011. Her 325 digs through 18 matches thus far in 2011 put her on pace to collect 542 on the season. That would shatter the school record of 488 in one season. It would also give Cohen 867 for her career, putting her 10 digs outside of the top 10 after just two seasons.