CHICAGO - Redshirt freshman Joseph Smalzer has been named the MIVA Offensive Player of the Week, according to the league office this afternoon. Smalzer joins Mike Bunting as the second Loyola University Chicago men's volleyball player to win the weekly award this season.
The 6-8 lefty from Palos Heights, Ill., put forth his best performance of the 2011 season in Loyola's 3-2 win over Ball State last Friday evening at Alumni Gym. Against the Cardinals, Smalzer fired a career-high 21 kills, while powering a .343 hitting percentage. He blasted seven kills in the third set alone. Smalzer also posted a career-high 10 digs, leading to his first career double-double in a Rambler uniform.
On the season, Smalzer leads the team with 41 service aces and is second with 574 kills and 114 digs. He ranks fifth nationally with a .45 ace per set average.
Grand Canyon freshman outside hitter Ben Ponnet was named the MIVA Defensive Player of the Week.
Smalzer and the Ramblers wrap up the 2011 regular season on April 14-15, when they hit the road to play a two-game series against Quincy. Friday's match is set for 7:00 p.m. CDT, while Saturday's contest starts at 2:00 p.m.