IOWA CITY (U of I) — University of Iowa sophomore Alex Lovell has been named Big Ten Player of the Week, the conference announced Monday. Lovell, an outside hitter, garners her first career weekly honor.
It marks Iowa’s first Player of the Week honor since Sept. 18, 2006, when Melanie Meister received the recognition. It also is the Hawkeyes’ first weekly honor since Christina Meister was tabbed Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 7, 2009.
Lovell led the Hawkeyes to two Big Ten road wins over the weekend. Iowa won at Indiana on Friday, 3-1, before shocking No. 12 Purdue, 3-0, on Saturday. The Hawkeyes were one of five league teams with an undefeated weekend.
The victory in West Lafayette, Ind., marked Iowa’s first win at Purdue and first sweep of the Boilermakers since Nov. 10, 2000. It also marked the fourth win over a ranked foe for head coach Sharon Dingman, and her first victory over a ranked team on the road. No. 12 Purdue is the highest-ranked team the Hawkeyes have defeated during her tenure. It also marked the first time Iowa has won two-straight league contests since 2008 and consecutive league road matches since 2005.
The Leonard, Mich., native equaled junior Rachael Bedell with a team-best 37 kills in the two wins. Lovell hit a team-high .297 and added three aces and 14 digs. She turned in 41 points, averaging 5.29 kills per set.