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Jenna Coates leads CMU volleyball defense

(09/26/11 12:45pm)

The Central Michigan volleyball team has been up and down so far this season, but one position has stayed consistent. Sophomore defensive specialist Jenna Coates has been dominant during the first 13 matches of the season and is big reason why the Chippewas have a winning record. Since the Marquette match during the first week of the regular season, Coates has recorded double-digit digs in every match. Coates has recorded a total of 196 digs (4.1/game) with a season-high coming on Sept. 9 against Austin Peay, where she recorded 25 digs (6.3/game). “Western Michigan’s libero has received many defensive players of the week awards and her quality of digging is good,” said head coach Erik Olson. “But Coates is very good and outdid their libero this week.” Coates recorded 22 digs against the Broncos this weekend and out dug their top digger by three. “She brought up balls that were spectacular and so was her hustle,” Olson said. “She is my vote for player of the week.” Coates was named to the All-Tournament team in the final three weeks of the non-conference season, which is a pretty big deal for a libero when those awards usually go to outside hitters and middle blockers. “We’ve had the hitters scouted out well and I’ve been in right place at the right time,” Coates said. With her big weekend, the sophomore could find herself in the top half of the nation in digs per game. This success isn’t unusual for the Clarkston native. She recorded 10 double-figure matches during her freshmen campaign and already has 11 this year. Her consistency has strengthened the Chippewa defense, as she out dug the MAC leader on WMU this weekend by four. Coates is also third among the team with 37 assists this season, only behind sophomore setter Kelly Maxwell and senior setter Catherine Ludwig. Coates is also the only CMU player to play in all 48 games this season. Olson has said before that the defensive specialist is the backbone of the team and Coates has been that defensively.