Malama Peniata Named Big Ten Defensive Volleyball Player of the Week
Senior libero Malama Peniata (Plymouth, Minn.) was named Big Ten Defensive Volleyball Player of the Week for Monday, Sept. 18. It marks the first time Peniata has received the honor and the third time a Golden Gopher has claimed Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, which was just created last year.
In her first match of the season, Peniata broke a school record for most digs in a four-game match when she had 41 against Northern Iowa in Rochester, Minn. on Sept. 13. It marked the first time since Dec. 10, 2004 that a Minnesota player recorded 40 digs in a match. Peniata also joined Paula Gentil as the only player to record 40 digs in a match for Minnesota. Gentil did it twice in her career, tallying 41 digs against Georgia Tech on Dec. 10, 2004 and setting a Big Ten record with 47 at Penn State on Oct. 2, 2004.
Peniata tallied 16 digs against UConn in a three-game match, 18 against Tulane in three games and 15 in a three-game match against Dayton. Minnesota is 4-0 since Peniata started playing with the team this year. In her first full week, she averaged 6.92 digs per game, 0.85 assists per game and 0.31 service aces per game.
The Golden Gophers will begin Big Ten play at Northwestern on Friday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. Minnesota will also face Illinois on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m.