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Wicinski named Big Ten Player of the Week

October 22, 2012
	<p>Junior outside hitter Lauren Wicinski hits a serve Wednesday night, Oct. 17, 2012, at Cliff Keen Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Spartans defeated the Michigan Wolverines in three straight sets (25-20, 25-17, 25-20). Adam Toolin/The State News</p>

Junior outside hitter Lauren Wicinski hits a serve Wednesday night, Oct. 17, 2012, at Cliff Keen Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Spartans defeated the Michigan Wolverines in three straight sets (25-20, 25-17, 25-20). Adam Toolin/The State News

Photo by Adam Toolin | The State News

After weeks of leading the MSU volleyball team with her potent offensive skills, junior outside hitter Lauren Wicinski finally gets recognition by being named the Big Ten Player of the Week.

Wicinski not only has led the offensive attack for the Spartans, but she also has become a standout player in the Big Ten.

The transfer from Northern Illinois has made a splash in her first year in the Big Ten, leading the conference in kills per set (4.49), points per set (5.38) and service aces per set (0.58). Wicinski has had a remarkable season, but it was her stellar play from last week that earned her recognition.

Wicinski gave the Spartans 18 kills and nine digs while hitting at a .341 clip last week against in-state rival Michigan. Her efforts helped the Spartans take home a three-set win against their rival to end a three-game losing streak.

“She did a very, very good job at taking the shots they were giving her from the block,” head coach Cathy George said of Wicinski after the victory against the Wolverines. “She has great court vision, and she did a nice job of answering tonight.”

That game only served as a prelude to the offensive clinic Wicinski displayed on Saturday against Ohio State, as she threw down a season-high 29 kills for the Spartans. The Spartans lost to Buckeyes in four sets, but Wicinski’s performance was still worth watching for all the fans at Jenison Field House.

Although Wicinski had the double take-worthy numbers in the box score, she still credited the setters and blockers for giving her opportunities to score on Saturday.

“The credit goes to our offense, really; they did a nice job,” Wicinski said of her performance on Saturday.

Averaging 6.7 kills while hitting .333 on the week was enough to give Wicinski her first Big Ten Player of the Week award, and it also made her the first Spartan to receive the award since Kyndra Abron received it on Aug. 31, 2009.

Wicinski looks to carry the momentum of her award-winning performance to this weekend as the Spartans travel to Indiana to play the Hoosiers at 7 p.m. on Friday.

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