WMU News

Nowak fourth Bronco named MAC Player of the Week

Oct. 26, 1999

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University junior Jen Nowak (St. Charles, Ill.) was named Mid-American Conference volleyball Co-Offensive Player of the Week on Monday (Oct. 25) by the league office.

Nowak turned in a strong performance last week to help the Broncos sweep three matches. The junior setter totaled 148 assists (13.45 per game), 25 digs (2.27 dpg.), 12 kills (1.09 kpg.), and three blocks as WMU defeated Miami (3-1), Marshall (3-1), and Ohio (3-0).

Western Michigan is off to its best start in 13 seasons with a 19-3 overall mark and a perfect 11-0 MAC record. The Broncos have won 18 of their last 19 matches thanks in large part to Nowak's steady play at setter. She ranked No. 14 in the nation in assists per game (13.51) and had helped the Broncos post a team hitting percentage of .295, which ranked No. 7 in the country in the latest NCAA statistics. Among MAC statistical leaders, Nowak was first in assists in conference matches (14.61 apg.) and second in assists in all contests (13.50 apg.).

"Jen has really been the person who has brought our whole system to life," Bronco head coach Cathy George said. "She's able to distribute the ball well every night and that helps us keep our balance offensively. The fact that we're difficult to defend and have hit for as high a percentage as we've had is a direct reflection of Jen's setting ability."

Her current 13.50 apg. average would rank No. 1 in the Bronco record book. Nowak averaged 12.68 apg. last season, the second-best average in school history. She has totaled 918 assists this season and 2,252 for her career. The school record for career assists is 4,082, held by Kris Penza (1990-93). Nowak is on pace for 3,754 assists, which would rank No. 2 all time.

The Bronco setter was named to all-tournament teams at the University of Florida's SunTrust Invitational and at the WMU Spiketacular.

Nowak's selection as MAC Co-Offensive Player of the Week marks the fourth time this season a Bronco has won the award. Mandy Whitfield as Offensive Player of the Week Sept. 20 while sophomore Zakiya Pope won the honor Sept. 27. Senior Traci Morin was named MAC Co-Offensive Player of the Week Oct. 4.

Western Michigan will try to extend its MAC winning streak on the road this weekend. The Broncos play at Eastern Michigan on Friday (Oct. 29) and at Toledo on Saturday (Oct. 30). WMU has seven regular-season matches remaining. The 1999 MAC Tournament begins Nov. 23.

Media contact: Geoff Brown; 616 387-4138; geoffrey.brown@wmich.edu

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