by Alan Hoskins
Kansas City Kansas Community College has made a sweep of Jayhawk Conference Player of the Week honors after the Lady Blue Devils’ outstanding performance in the power-laden SSC (South Suburban Conference) tournament in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., this past weekend.
Sophomore outside hitter Blair Russell was selected KJCCC Division II Player of the Week; sophomore libero Andrea Aparicio the KJCCC Defensive Player of the Week.
Ranked No. 12 in the first Division II rankings of the season, the Lady Blue Devils opened the year by defeating three ranked foes – No. 4 Illinois Central, No. 9 Des Moines Area Community College, No. 14 South Suburban College and Waubonsee, a team receiving votes in the preseason poll. KCKC’s only loss came in four sets at the hands of No. 1 ranked Parkland in the Blue Devils’ first match of the year.
A 5-10 outside hitter from Marysville, Kan., Russell averaged 3.58 kills per set on offense and 3.32 digs per set on defense and is currently No. 2 in the nation in total number of kills (68), sixth in kills per set (3.58) and 33rd in digs per set.
Aparicio, a 5-4 libero from Dorado, Puerto Rico, is the first Lady Blue Devil to lead the nation in a Division II statistical category, ranking No. 1 in both digs per set (6.26) on defense and the total number of digs (119).