Natalie Ziskin, Iona, So., Setter, 5-8, Burnt Hills, NY/Burnt Hills
Sophomore setter Natalie Ziskin was a huge catalyst for Iona's offense in a 2-1 week on the road in MAAC play. Ziskin averaged 12.4 assists per set leading the Gaels to a .280 team hitting percentage in matches at Saint Peter's, Canisius and Niagara. The assist average (1.2/set above) and team hitting percentage (.033 above) were both well over the conference leaders in the statistic this season. Ziskin posted two 50+ assists contests in Western New York this weekend. She set a career-high 52 in a five-set loss at the Golden Griffins before becoming the second-ever Iona performer to record 50 or more assists in a three-set match at the Purple Eagles the next day. Ziskin's 50 assists in the match were a school record during the 25-point set era, and one shy of the overall school mark. Iona's 57 team kills in the match is a 25-point set school record, also one shy of the overall high. In the week's opener, she fell one dig shy of a double-double, posting 34 assists and nine digs in a three-set win vs. the Peacocks. Iona's .444 hitting percentage at Niagara was the program's highest in MAAC play and third-highest overall in the last 15 seasons. The Gaels hit .357 at Saint Peter's also ranking in the Top 15 all-time.
Yamashiro contributed 3.90 digs per set, as the first-place Jaspers notched back-to-back five-set wins at Canisius and Niagara, their first sweep of the Buffalo trip since 2002. Against Niagara on Saturday, she recorded a team-high 20 digs while also tallying five assists and two service aces. Yamashiro then notched 19 digs, six assists and two aces in the victory over Canisius on Sunday. For the season, she’s averaging 4.44 digs per set, the fourth-highest total in the MAAC.
Rookie of the Week
Emma Ogden, Quinnipiac, Fr., Setter, 5-10, Crown Point, Ind. / Crown Point
The former MAAC Player of the Week was completely in control over the weekend as she compiled a total of 83 assists (10.38 per set average), 19 digs (2.38 per set), nine blocks (1.12 per set) and two service aces in two Bobcat victories this weekend. Ogden stepped in from the first match of the season and has continued to improve throughout the year. Her most well-rounded game of the season came on Saturday in a win over Rider as she went for a career high in both assists (47) and blocks (7), the last of which came in a thrilling match-clinching point for Quinnipiac over the Broncs in the fourth set. Ogden followed it up with 36 assists and 14 digs on Sunday in a victory over Saint Peter’s, good for her third double double of the season, tops on the team. Her continued improvement has translated to the court as she has recorded at least 33 assists in five of her last six matches.