Three Spartans pull in weekly conference honors


Six victorious sets, two interceptions and one game-winning goal later, three athletes have won Big Ten honors from the weekend. All three Spartans contributed in giving their teams a combined four victories on the weekend, putting them on top of the conference. Here are this week’s honorees:

Darqueze Dennard

Once again, a football defensive player is being rewarded for his play.

Danyelle Morrow / The State News

Senior cornerback Darqueze Dennard was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week after MSU’s 26-14 win against Iowa on Saturday. This is the first time Dennard has received the award.

Dennard had two interceptions and a career-high eight tackles in the Spartans 26-14 win over Iowa on Saturday. This is the third time in Dennard’s career he’s had two picks in a single game.

Dennard’s first interception came in the first quarter, and his second, which came with just five minutes left in the game, was crucial in protecting MSU’s fourth win of the season.

Sophomore defensive end Shilique Calhoun was the last Spartan to be given the conference’s weekly Defensive Player of the Week honor earlier this season against South Florida.

Lauren Wicinski

For the second straight week and third time this season, senior outside hitter Lauren Wicinski has been named the Big Ten Volleyball Player of the Week.

She shares the honor with Nebraska outside hitter Kelsey Robinson. Nebraska and MSU are the only undefeated teams left in Big Ten play.

Wicinski and Robinson will face each other this weekend, as MSU is scheduled to play Nebraska on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Wicinski totaled 18 kills, four digs and three total blocks in the win over Illinois last Friday. She followed with 19 kills, four service aces and three total blocks in the victory over Northwestern Saturday.

Wicinski surpassed 2,000 career kills this season. With 2,112 career kills, she only needs 143 more to move into the NCAA’s top-25 all-time career kills list.

Former UCLA player Kristee Porter is currently No. 25 on the list with 2,255.

With a 15-1 overall record and 4-0 Big Ten record, the volleyball team is off to their best season start since 1996. They currently are riding a 13-game winning streak.

Adam Montague

Adam Montague’s last two days likely have been better than anyone else’s in college soccer.

With just 46 seconds left in the double overtime match against No. 5 Northwestern on Sunday, the junior forward used his head to score the 3-2 game-winning goal. Yesterday afternoon, he was given his first career conference honor, as he was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week.

Earlier in the week, Montague scored the first goal in the Spartans’ 2-0 win over Illinois-Chicago on the road.

With the clutch use of his head in Evanston, Ill., Montague now leads the Big Ten in game-winning goals, with three.

Montague is the first Spartan to earn the accolade since then-freshman midfielder Jay Chapman on Oct. 29, 2012.

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