Roll Call: Best of the MIAA, Heartland, KCAC and Jayhawk (9/22)

Some people hate Mondays. I love them. Because they’re my Fridays and … it’s player of the week time!

I did this by conference last week, but this time I’m going to switch it up and try by sport. FYI, Bethel and Ottawa cleaned up in the KCAC awards, ESU volleyball player Ting Liu is a stud, and the Friends University Web Site definitely needs to throw some mug shots on there.

Here it goes:

FOOTBALL

MIAA

Our state schools got shut out in the player of the week awards. Nebraska-Omaha QB Zach Miller is the man this week on the offensive side after rushing for 195 yards and three touchdowns and passing for 143 yards and two touchdowns in a 40-21 win over Missouri Southern. Hard to turn your back on Pittsburg State’s Caleb Farabi, but Miller is deserving. Defensively, Northwest Missouri LB Adam Vondrak picked up honors, and Missouri Western kicker Dustin Strickler was the Special Teams honoree.

KCAC

Ottawa quarterback Ethan Haller was the KCAC offensive player of the week after the Southern California native almost led the Braves to what would have been the upset of the season at No. 9 Friends, but came up shot. Didn’t mean he couldn’t go ahead and throw for 405 yards and three TDs. Friends defensive end Jordan Highley was the defensive player of the week with 13 tackles, four TFL and three pass-break ups in the same game.

Another Cali guy, Bethel’s Mervin Brookins, was the special teams selection this week, and deservedly so. For you Facebook-philes, here’s his page, wear he’s rocking his Threshers jersey. Nice. Athletes on Facebook and MySpace … not always a good combination, but when they’re doing the right thing I’ve found that the pages can actually be pretty interesting and give you a look inside the lives of these athletes. So it’s good and bad.

Mervin Brookins, Bethel

Mervin Brookins, Bethel

JAYHAWK

The Fort Scott defense is really, really scary. Linebacker Jaquain Williams has had his exploits routinely discussed in The Eagle, but look out because two of his teammates took honors from him after the Greyhounds’ win over Garden City Saturday. LB LeVonte David (12 tackles, 2 TFL, INT, 2 FF) and DL Horace Hubbard (12 tackles, 2.5 sacks) share honors this week. Who ‘dem Greyhounds?

VOLLEYBALL

MIAA

Ting Liu, Ting Liu, Ting Liu. I’ll write it three times because that’s how many times in a row the 6-foot-1 Emporia State setter has won MIAA specialist of the week honors. The No. 12-ranked Hornets (they were No. 14 last week) started MIAA play 3-0 last week in no small part because of her efforts. And she saved her best for the biggest game with 52 assists, five kills, two aces and 12 digs in a 3-1 win over No. 11 Truman State. She averaged 11.64 assists per set. Having a 6-foot-1 setter in volleyball … well that’s like having a 6-foot-9 point guard :) Central Missouri’s Paula Harris was the hitter of the week.

KCAC

Bethel College played a lot of volleyball this week, going 4-2 with wins over Tabor, Bethany and MidAmerica Nazarene. In the process, they picked up a lot of awards. Senior Kari Thimm was named hitter of the week, sophomore Morgan Peters was named setter of the week and Moundridge product Kristen Schrag, a senior, was named setter of the week.

Kristen Schrag, Bethel

Kristen Schrag, Bethel

JAYHAWK

Johnson County’s Katie O’Connor, a 5-foot-10 setter, was player of the week — no strings attached, there was just one.

SOCCER

HEARTLAND CONFERENCE

Newman’s Lashella Alexander was the Heartland Conference’s offensive player of the week after scoring

LaShella Alexander, Newman

LaShella Alexander, Newman

twice in a 6-0 win at Sterling and once in a 3-1 win over conference foe Texas A&M International. Alexander, a sophomore from Amarillo, Texas, leads the Jets this season with four goals.

MIAA

Emporia State’s Tina Commons, a senior from Emporia, was named the MIAA’s defensive player of the week after her first start ever as a goalie, a 1-0 win over Missouri Western. It was the first shutout for the Hornets in MIAA play in nearly three years. Commons played as a back in a game earlier in the week. I guess she can do it all.

Central Missouri’s Sharaya Sidebottom was the MIAA offensive player of the week.

Tina Commons, ESU

Tina Commons, ESU

KCAC

Ottawa, again. What’re they putting in the water up there? The Braves SWEEP the women’s soccer awards in the KCAC this week, with freshman Kelsey Hanna getting the nod on the offensive side, and freshman goalkeeper Lauren Peil, an Augusta product, picking up defensive honors. Peil gave up just one goal as Ottawa picked up wins over Avila (Mo.), SW Assemblies of God (Texas) and Northwood (Texas). For the record, Northwood got the goal in the third game, where I’m sure Peil was tired. Right?

Lauren Peil, Ottawa

Lauren Peil, Ottawa

A pair of Braves picked up the men’s awards, too: Marvin Graham on offense and Michael Mesle on defense.

CROSS COUNTRY

Heartland Conference

Newman’s Melissa Ortiz, a Wichita West product, was named the Heartland Conference’s co-runner of the week after breaking her own school record in the 5K on Saturday at the Missouri Southern Stampede, placing 28th out of 287 runners to lead the Lady Jets.

KCAC

Ottawa’s Justin Garrard and Kansas Wesleyan’s Sarah Williams were the KCAC men’s and women’s runners of the week.

-TA