Senior libero Malama Peniata (Plymouth, Minn.) was named Big Ten Defensive Volleyball Player of the Week for the third time this season on Monday, Nov. 20. Peniata becomes only the third player in Big Ten history (the award started in 2005) to be named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week three or more times.
Peniata joined Kaleena Walters and Christie Gardner on that list. Walters, who graduated from Penn State last year, won the honor a record four times, while Gardner, who graduated from Northwestern last year, won it three times. Peniata is the only multiple winner of the honors this year.
This past week, Peniata averaged 6.62 dpg, 0.62 apg and helped limit Golden Gophers opposition to a .134 hitting percentage. Peniata had 17 digs against then No. 10 Wisconsin on Nov. 15, and had a crucial kill on a push play into the back corner to help Minnesota claim the match in the fourth game. Peniata also had her second-highest career total in digs with 36 against Iowa on Nov. 18.
Peniata leads the Big Ten in digs per game with 5.51 dpg. She also has a 2.27-to-1 service ace-to-service error ratio at 25-to-11. She also has a .970 serve receive percentage with just 12 reception errors in 400 attempts on the season.