The University at Buffalo volleyball team swept the MAC East Player of the Week awards on Monday morning as the Bulls took both the offensive and defensive honor. Junior Abby Niekamp was honored for the first time by the conference as the offensive player of the week, while senior Kristin Bignell, picked up her fourth career player of the week honor, as the league’s defensive player of the week.
Niekamp was named to the All-Tournament team at the Blue and White Classic finishing with 35 kills on the week. Niekamp was extremely efficient as she hit .500 in the four matches, recording just seven total errors on 56 swings. Niekamp had 12 kills twice on the week, against Binghamton and St. John’s. Niekamp also added eight total blocks. She leads the Bulls in hitting percentage at .424 and is second on the team in kills with 88 and blocks with 27.
Bignell led the way with 17 total blocks on the week, including a career-high 13 blocks against St. John’s. Bignell’s 11 block assists against the Red Storm were just two off the school record for block assists in a four-set match. Bignell was just as impressive offensively, as she hit .354 with 24 kills. Bignell is currently second on the team in hitting percentage at .408 and her 83 kills are third. Bignell has a team-high 33 total blocks, including seven solos.
“I am very happy for Abby and Kristin to get this recognition,” said head coach Todd Kress. ”They were a big part of our success this weekend and it is very well deserved.”
The Bulls head back on the road this weekend for four matches at the West Point Invitational. UB starts on Friday morning at 10:00 am against Hofstra.