MUNCIE, Ind. – The No. 15 Ball State men’s volleyball team earned two weekly honors coming off a 3-2 thriller at then-No. 14 IPFW. Sophomore outside hitter Marcin Niemczewski has been named Sports Imports/American Volleyball Coaches Association Division I-II Men’s National Player of the Week while junior libero David Ryan Vander Meer earned MIVA Defensive Player of the Week honors.
Niemczewski is just the second Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association player to earn national player of the week accolades this season, and is the first Ball State men’s volleyball player to earn the AVCA’s top weekly honor since Ethan Pheister picked it up during the 2010 season. The award marks the 12th time a BSU student-athlete has been recognized as the AVCA National Player of the Week.
In Friday’s five-set win over the Mastodons, Niemczewski had a career-high in kills, attempts, digs and blocks in his first career double-double. The sophomore finished the night with 22 kills, 16 digs and eight total blocks while maintaining a .300 attack percentage (22-7-50). Niemczewski was the first Cardinal to earn 20 or more kills, 10 or more digs and five or more blocks since Patrick Dubin’s 30 kill, 11 dig and five block performance against Lewis on April 24, 2008. The Vernon Hills, Ill., native leads the Cardinals in kills this season with 77, is tied for second in digs with 33 and is third in blocks with 17.
Vander Meer earns the MIVA nod for the first time in his career and he is the first Cardinal to be recognized by the conference this season. The junior got under a career-high 22 digs against the Mastodons which was the first time a BSU men’s volleyball player had over 20 digs since Billy Ebel tallied 20 against Grand Canyon on Jan. 21, 2010.
The No. 15 Ball State men’s volleyball team is headed on the road this week to take on George Mason and Princeton.