Senior defensive specialist Jenna Coates had a night to remember in Saturday’s 3-1 loss to Northern Illinois (11-7, 3-1 MAC), as she broke volleyball’s four-set dig record with 37.
Coates’ 67 digs last weekend moved her up to seventh in the nation with 5.72 digs per set this season. She was also named Mid-American Conference West Defensive Player of the Week for the second time this season.
“Jenna’s a phenomenal athlete and she reads the game very well,” said head coach Erik Olson. “She got into a flow this last weekend and was fantastic.”
Coates played without senior setter Kelly Maxwell, who was out for the weekend with an injury. The only other setter on the roster, junior Danielle Thompson, went out with an injury at the end of Saturday’s match.
The record-breaking effort was even more impressive considering Northern Illinois came into the season ranked ahead of CMU in the MAC preseason poll.
“Against Northern, you have to earn digs,” Olson said. “It was quite impressive that she set the record against (the Huskies), because their outsides are high-powered. They hit the crud out of the ball, and she was everywhere.”
Although Coates said the team missed the experience of Maxwell, she said the team was working well together Saturday with what it had on the floor.
“It felt good out there. I was really just feeling the game,” Coates said. “I haven’t really thought about the number, honestly. We’ve still got a lot of volleyball to play.”