Senior Maddie Smith and freshman Samantha McCreath swept the weekly Molten/Northeast Conference awards it was announced on Monday by the league. Smith was named Player and Defensive Player of the Week, while McCreath collected the Rookie of the Week award after the duo helped CCSU to a pair of wins last weekend.
The Blue Devils clinched a spot in the NEC Tournament with wins over Sacred Heart and Fairleigh Dickinson, while improving to 15-7 overall and 9-3 in conference play.
Smith collects her second Molten/NEC Player of the Week honor and first defensive accolade after providing a two-way spark in a pair of CCSU wins that clinched the Blue Devils a spot in the NEC Tournament. Smith posted an NEC single-match season-high 14 blocks in a five-set win over Sacred Heart on Friday. Her career-high performance was one block shy of the most in an NCAA match this season and the highest total in the NEC since CCSU's Rachel Dunlap finished with 14 against Sacred Heart on November 9, 2013.
Smith, who had previously earned the Player of the Week honor on Sept. 11, finished the week averaging 2.12 blocks per set while hitting .500 to help the Blue Devils also take down Fairleigh Dickinson and remain in contention for the regular season title. Smith, who tallied 13 kills on the week, leads the conference in blocks with 1.49 blocks per set, which also ranks 11th nationally.
McCreath played a key role in helping CCSU lock up a spot for the Blue Devils in the NEC Volleyball Tournament. McCreath, a two-time Molten/NEC Rookie of the Week award winner, finished the week with 2.71 kills per set while also adding nine digs, four blocks, and a trio of aces.
In a five-set win over the Pioneers on Friday, McCreath registered all 10 of her kills in the final three sets while hitting at a .400 clip for the match. She led CCSU with nine kills, to go with five digs and two blocks, in a three-set win over Fairleigh Dickinson on Saturday.
Heading into the final weekend of the regular season, the Blue Devils are among the nation's top defensive teams. CCSU ranks 26th nationally holding opponents to a .160 hitting percentage and 20th nationally with 2.73 blocks per set.
Central returns to action on Friday, Nov. 17, at Saint Francis U in a 7:00 p.m. match.