SEWARD, Neb. – Junior Jocelyn Garcia is insistent upon keeping the GPAC defensive player of the week award all to herself. On Tuesday the conference named Garcia (defensive) and senior Alayna Kavanaugh (setter) as two of its three winners of the latest GPAC player of the week awards. Garcia has earned all three conference defensive weekly awards this season (six in her career). Kavanaugh has been chosen as setter of the week for the first time in 2016 and for the fifth time in her career.
Kavanaugh, a native of Roca, Neb., averaged 12.25 assists per game over last week’s GPAC home victories over College of Saint Mary and Morningside. The ultra-productive week pushed the Lincoln Christian High School product up the NAIA leaderboard to No. 7 in total assists (629) and No. 11 in assists per game (10.8). Last week Kavanaugh went past 4,000 career assists. The all-time school record is held by Stacy Stuckenschmidt, who amassed 4,949.
Garcia, who hails from Brighton, Colo., has been cleaning up in the back row for head coach Scott Mattera’s squad. Last week she averaged 5.4 digs per game over eight sets and passed serve receive at 97.8 percent. She also added an ace in the comeback win over Morningside. Among all NAIA players, Garcia ranks 16th in total digs (312) and 33rd in digs per game (5.4).
Kavanaugh, Garcia and the rest of the Bulldogs (10-7, 2-1 GPAC) return to action on Wednesday with a road trip to No. 20 Doane (12-4, 2-2 GPAC). Varsity action is slated to begin at7:30 p.m. CT following a 6 p.m. junior varsity match.