Cochran wins 1st career MSC Defensive POW

PORTSMOUTH — Behind a strong defensive performance that spearheaded Shawnee State to its best regular-season start since 2018, SSU defensive specialist Emilee Cochran was named as the first recipient of the Mid-South Conference’s Defensive Player of the Week award for the 2021-22 academic year — as announced by MSC officials on Monday afternoon.

Cochran, who posted 85 digs in four matches, averaged 21.3 digs per match as a result of her play on the back line.

The Galion native also tallied a solid 88.5-percent service reception mark, despite the heavy workload defensively.

In Saturday’s contests alone, Cochran posted 57 of her 85 digs — with the talented third-year player matching her career-high with 30 digs in a four-set victory over Union and claiming 27 additional dives in a scant five-set loss to Point (Ga.).

Cochran finished with 17 and 11 digs respectively in straight-set victories over Missouri Valley and Loyola (La.) on Friday evening.

The MSC Defensive Player of the Week is the first of Cochran’s career, and builds on a week where several players posted strong defensive performances — including Nash Shelby (16 total blocks) and Macie Rhoads (54 digs to go along with 51 kills).

In addition to the award being Cochran’s first as a collegiate volleyball player, her attainment of that honor marked Shawnee State’s first MSC DPOW winner since Sept. 25, 2019 — when Stacia Martin claimed the award.

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