(Posted September 29, 2003)

Huntingdon, PA ? Katie Charles (Manheim Township/Lancaster), a junior right side/opposite hitter for the Juniata College women?s volleyball team has been selected the Sports Imports/AVCA Division III National Player of the Week for leading the Eagles to a 4-0 record, including wins over two top-five opponents.

Charles was named to the all-tournament team as Juniata took the Teri Clemons Invitational tournament championship, with a sweep of host and third-ranked Washington University, and a 3-1 victory over second-ranked Trinity University (Tx.). Charles posted averaged of 4.92 kills, 4.00 digs, and .67 blocks per game with a .354 hitting percentage for the week.

?Katie had a breakthrough week for us in some respects,? Juniata volleyball mentor Larry Bock stated. ?Yet, as well as she played, I don?t think it came as a surprise to the coaching staff or her teammates. Katie?s consistency this season has been obvious, and she keeps getting better every match. I expect that what we saw this past weekend is what we will see from her the rest of the season.?

Charles posted her best outings against the toughest teams over the weekend. She notched career bests in kills (27) and digs (20) in Juniata?s sweep of Trinity. The junior hit .345 in the match while adding three blocks and a serve ace. Against the host school she knocked out 15 kills with 12 digs and a .419 hitting mark. She closed the weekend with a 10-kill, 10-dig performance while playing two games against Baldwin-Wallace. Earlier in the week she led Juniata to a win in their conference opener with seven kills against no errors while bringing up six digs in a 3-0 win over Albright. Her play during the week also earned her Commonwealth Conference volleyball player of the week recognition.

For the season, Charles is averaging 3.36 kills, 2.75 digs, .36 blocks and .33 serve aces per outing, while hitting .281 which leads the regular attackers. She?s first on the team in aces, second in blocks and third in both kills and digs.

Juniata is ranked first in the most recent AVCA Division III poll, and has opened the season winning their first 11 matches. It?s the best start an Eagle program has enjoyed since the 1998 unit won their first 29 matches to open the season. Four of Juniata?s 11 wins have come over teams ranked in the preseason AVCA top-25. The Eagles will look to stay unbeaten this week as they host conference foe Lebanon Valley on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. and then welcome opponents for the highly-competitive Juniata Invitational over the weekend.

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Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.