AMES, Iowa – After strong performances en route to winning the Shocker Volleyball Classic, the No. 18 Iowa State volleyball team saw libero Hali Hillegas earn Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week and middle blocker Avery Rhodes pick up Big 12 Freshman of the Week, the conference announced Monday.
Hillegas was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the week for the second time this season and the fourth time in her career. Iowa State has won the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week award for the third-straight week, the first Big 12 DPOW three-peat since Kristen Hahn claimed three straight in Oct.-Nov. 2012. The Cyclones have now claimed the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week award 49 times, the next-highest total is 21.
Rhodes got her first career Big 12 Freshman of the week award, and marks the ninth-straight season ISU has claimed at least one Big 12 Rookie/Freshman of the Week honor.
Hillegas earned a spot on the Shocker Volleyball Classic All-Tournament Team after an astonishing weekend of work. In the Cyclones’ sweep of Wichita State on Sunday, the redshirt sophomore posted a season-best 30 digs. She also had 20 digs in the ISU’s upset of No. 8 Creighton, and 25 in the Cyclones’ Tuesday loss to UNI.
Rhodes did not even play against UNI, as a lineup shuffle led to Christy Johnson-Lynch handing the Waco, Texas native her first career start against Creighton on Saturday. Rhodes delivered, posting 10 blocks (2 solo, 8 assists), and seven kills in the win. She followed that up with three kills and five blocks in the sweep of the Shockers. Rhodes finished the weekend with 1.88 blocks per set.
Hillegas, Rhodes and the No. 18 Cyclones begin Big 12 play on Saturday against Oklahoma at Hilton Coliseum. First serve will be at 4 p.m., with Cyclones.TV Powered by Mediacom showing the match.