ECU players grab weekly GAC honors

Nov. 16—RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. — The Great American Conference announced on Monday the volleyball players of the week for the final week of the 2023 season, and East Central University's Emma Strickland and Julia Kabala claimed the Offensive Player and Setter of the Week honors, respectively.

Both Strickland and Kabala earn their second weekly award for the season after guiding ECU to a 2-0 week where they clinched their spot in the GAC Tournament to secure the No. 6 seed.

Strickland led the team with 37 kills and averaged 4.64 per set in wins against Southern Nazarene University and rival Southeastern Oklahoma State University. She also dialed up 40 total digs with an average of five per set. The Mansfield, Texas native's best match came at Southern Nazarene when she registered 21 kills and 24 digs. With those marks, she maintains No. 2 in the league in kills (3.88) and points (4.25).

As for Kabala, the Warsaw, Poland native dished out 82 assists over eight sets, good for an average of 10.25 per set. She turned in 29 digs and led the team in aces with six. In the match against Southern Nazarene, Kabala handed out 39 assists and grabbed 19 digs for her 10th double-double of the season as the Tigers took down the Crimson Storm to punch their ticket to the postseason tournament.

The ECU volleyball team will next prepare for the GAC Championship tournament beginning Nov. 16 at the Bank OZK Arena in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The Tigers will take on Southwestern Oklahoma State University at 10 a.m.