EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - A total of seven UW-Eau Claire student-athletes have been recognized by being named an Athlete of the Week for the seventh week of the 2014-15 season.
Singles: Sarah Henderson, Freshman, Prior Lake, Minn.
Henderson won both of her matches this weekend, facing Winona State University (Minn.) on Friday and UW-La Crosse on Saturday. At No. 6 singles, Henderson picked up a 6-0, 6-0 win Friday and then won 6-4, 6-2 Saturday.
Doubles: Paige Kuepers, Junior, Green Bay, Wis./Southwest & Nicole Pothen, Senior, Centerville, Minn./Centennial
Pothen and Kuepers won both of their matches this weekend, facing Winona State University (Minn.) on Friday and UW-La Crosse on Saturday. The No. 2 pair won 8-6 Friday night and then won 8-2 against La Crosse on Saturday.
Offense: Tara Dennehy, Forward, 5-9, Junior, Eugene, Ore./Churchill
Playing in two games this week, Dennehy picked up one goal and had one assist while recording five shots, three of which were on-goal. In a 4-0 victory over UW-Stevens Point on Saturday, she scored the Blugolds’ first goal of the game, just over seven minutes into the contest, and assisted on the team’s third goal with just over 16 minutes left in the game. Wednesday in a 1-0 overtime loss to Luther College (Iowa), she led the Blugolds with four shots.
Defense: Ashley O’Connell, Defender, 5-6, Junior, Appleton, Wis./East
Starting two games this week, O’Connell was part of a defense that gave up just one goal as the Blugolds split wins. Wednesday, the Blugolds fell to Luther College (Iowa) 1-0 in overtime but bounced back with a 4-0 victory over UW-Stevens Point on Saturday. Against the Pointers, she assisted on the Blugolds’ final goal of the game. As a team, the Blugolds faced 30 shots, nine of which were on-goal, during the week and stopped all but one of them while also defending against 13 corner kicks.
Offense: Jenna Smits, Setter, 5-8, Junior, Green Bay, Wis./Preble
Playing in 19 sets and four matches this week, Smits helped pace the Blugold offense by accumulating 204 of the team’s 232 set assists. She recorded career highs of 52 set assists in back-to-back matches Saturday at the Elmhurst College Invitational in Illinois and also had seven service aces against St. Olaf College (Minn.) on Saturday, tied for seventh most in a single match in school history and the most an individual has recorded since 2007. With the Blugolds going 2-2 this week, she led the team in all four matches in set assists and also had 10 service aces, 40 digs, 12 kills and four block assists.
Defense: Kelly Riesgraf, Middle Hitter, 5-11, Junior, Chaska, Minn.
Riesgraf led the Blugolds in blocking, playing in four matches and 19 sets this week. She finished the week with 17 block assists and two solo blocks while also coming away with seven digs and 41 kills, fourth most on the team, with a hitting percentage of .400, second-best during the week. Riesgraf’s best blocking performance came Friday against UW-Platteville, finishing with one solo and six block assists.