GRAND FORKS, N.D. (UND Athletics) – Senior Jordan Vail and freshman Taliyah Flores were both honored by league offices on Monday afternoon, taking home The Summit League’s Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week honors after leading the University of North Dakota volleyball team to a perfect 3-0 week.
Both were key factors in the victories over North Dakota State (Wednesday), Oral Roberts (Friday), and South Dakota State (Saturday) as the duo helped the Fighting Hawks (12-8, 4-1 Summit) to another 6-0 start at the Betty.
A force in the middle, Vail has shined on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball this season but saved some of her best volleyball for this week’s action. The senior opened the homestand with a career-high 19 kills on just 30 swings to pace the Hawks to a 3-2 victory over in-state rival NDSU. The San Antonio native hit a season-high .567 for the match, the most by a UND player with at least 19 kills since Lisa Parlich hit .568 and recorded 23 kills against Florida A&M on Sept. 13, 2013. Vail had two solo rejections while also adding four block assists to help the Hawks to match total of 12. After recording 13 kills in another five-set win over Oral Roberts, she led the team in kills on Saturday with 10, hitting .333 in the 3-0 sweep over the Jackrabbits.
On the week, Vail hit a whopping .378 over those three victories while also recording a 3.23 kills per set for a total of 42 kills.
Since taking over the libero role, no one in the conference has been better on the defensive side of the net than Flores as the freshman claims her second defensive award by the league. The Summit League’s leader in total digs, Flores recorded her third 30+ dig performance of the season in Wednesday’s victory over NDSU before following with another 30 against the Golden Eagles on Friday. The Papillion, Neb., native tallied a match-high 15 digs on Saturday to post her 13th straight tilt with double-digit digs.
On the defensive end, Flores notched 75 digs and a 5.77 digs per set average this week and her 4.62 digs per set this season ranks third in the conference.
North Dakota returns to action with a quick trip down I-29 against Omaha on Friday. UND then returns home to battle the four straight league champions Denver on Sunday at the Betty.