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Putnicki named American Athletic Conference's Defensive Player of the Week

Aupiu joins her in receiving recognition as she was named to the AAC Weekly Honor Roll

IRVING, Texas— The American Athletic Conference announced its weekly award winners on Monday, with freshman Miranda Putnicki earning the league's Defensive Player of the Week accolade after shattering the school's rally-scoring era record for blocks in a match. Additionally, junior Mekaila Aupiu was listed on the conference honor roll. 

Putnicki put on a show, logging 12 blocks in a four-set win over Memphis to open the weekend. The freshman's total surpassed the previous benchmark of 10, which had been reached multiple times. She carried momentum from the first match into the second, recording four stuffs in a sweep over Florida Atlantic. In total, she boasted 16 blocks on the week, the most in the conference. She added six kills for 14.5 points, all while anchoring a defense that held the opposition to a .099 hitting percentage.

Her selection marks the first occasion in which a UTSA volleyball player has claimed a Player of the Week award since joining the AAC. 

Aupiu, meanwhile, had the highest assist-per-set total in the league, averaging 11 helpers per set. The squad hit .263 under her direction as she posted a whopping 46 assists against the Tigers before adding 31 more in the sweep over the Owls. Additionally, she scored 8.5 points, working three kills and 11 blocks. 

For Aupiu, this represents the first time that she has been recognized by the AAC and the third time a Roadrunner setter has been selected for the conference honor roll after freshman Makenna Wiepert was chosen twice. 

The Roadrunners will return to the Convocation Center this week as they host Tulsa twice. The squads will meet on Friday, with a 6 p.m. first serve on Día de los Muertos night, ahead of a Senior Day celebration on Saturday at 2 p.m.

The complete list of honorees can be found below: 

Offensive Player of the Week

Kayley Cassaday, Gr., OH, Tulsa


Defensive Player of the Week

Miranda Putnicki, Fr., MB, UTSA


Honor Roll

Aleeyah Galdeira, Sr., L, North Texas

Nia McCardell, Sr., L, Rice

Emma Clothier, Gr., MB, SMU

Mekaila Aupiu, Jr., S, UTSA

Sabrina Skyers, So, MB, Tulane

Keep up with UTSA Volleyball all season long on goutsa.com, and by following the program on Facebook at /UTSAVBall, Twitter @UTSAVolleyball, and on Instagram @utsa_vb.