October 3, 2011

Arnold earns Big Sky Conference POTW award

OGDEN, Utah -- Northern Colorado junior Kelley Arnold was honored today as the Big Sky Conference Volleyball Player of the Week for matches played between September 26 and October 2.

This is Arnold's fourth career Big Sky POTW award, after she earned a league-most three last season as sophomore en route to a unanimous selection to the All-Big Sky Conference First Team.

Arnold, from Berthoud, Colo., continued her campaign last weekend for this year's Big Sky MVP award with a pair of dominating performances in the Bears' unprecedented back-to-back road wins at Eastern Washington and Portland State.

She notched double-doubles in both victories (bringing her season total to five) and totaled an impressive 48 kills for the weekend (5.33 per set), with a .385 hitting percentage, 25 digs (2.78) and nine blocks (1.0).

She had outstanding performances in both matches, helping the Bears win at Portland State for the first time since 2004 and helping them win both matches of the annual Pacific Northwest trip for the first time since joining the Big Sky in 2006.

Her best match came Friday against the Eagles, though, when she finished with a personal and Big Sky-season high in kills (28) and digs (14), pushing Northern Colorado past Eastern Washington for the fourth consecutive time and handing the at-the-time first-place Eagles their first home and conference losses of the season.

She then followed up with 20 kills and 11 digs in a five-set thriller Saturday night at Portland State that catapulted the Bears into first place in the conference standings.

Others nominated: Amanda Brown, Eastern Washington; Lori Mendenhall, Idaho State; Kelsey Schile, Montana and Kelsey Elston, Sacramento State