Jones Named AVCA National Player of the Week

MANHATTAN, Kan. - After hitting over .600 and averaging 3.0 kills and 1.5 blocks per set last week, redshirt senior Natali Jones was named the Sports Imports/AVCA Player of the Week for the period ending October 26, the AVCA announced. It is the first national player of the week award for a Wildcat since 2012 as Jones becomes the fourth player in program history to earn the accolade.

A product of Skyline (KS) High School and Pratt Community College, Jones matched her career-high in kills in both of K-State's wins last week while registering an attack percentage well over .600. The more impressive of the two performances was on October 25 at West Virginia when the middle blocker helped lead K-State to a 3-2 win by tallying 12 kills on an errorless 16 attempts. Her .667 hitting percentage against the Mountaineers tied her for the second-best hitting percentage ever recorded by a Wildcat in a five-set match.

In a sweep of Oklahoma on October 22, Jones reached double-figures in kills for the first time in her career, totaling 12 kills on 16 attempts with one error for a .688 hitting percentage. She had seven blocks against the Sooners as well, giving her 12 for the entire week.

The native of Clocolan, South Africa also had two aces and six digs as she finished with averages of 3.0 kills, 1.5 blocks, 0.25 aces, 0.75 digs, 4.06 points and a .676 hitting percentage over eight sets.

Jones is just the second Wildcat over the last 14 years and fourth ever to earn the national player of the week honor, joining Kaitlynn Pelger (2012), Dawn Cady (1999) and Kate DeClerk (1995, 1996). The AVCA began awarding individuals for the honor in 1993.

Jones is also the first Big 12 player to earn the award this season (Last: Haley Eckerman, Texas - Nov. 12, 2013). On Monday, Jones was named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week for the first time in her career. She shared the honor with Oklahoma's Kierra Holst.

Jones enters this week leading the Big 12 in blocks per set for overall matches (1.45) while her .345 hitting percentage in conference-only contests is fourth-best. She has already established career-highs in kills (129), blocks (103), aces (7) and points (189.5).

K-State has a midweek bye before returning to action on Saturday, November 1 at 1 p.m. to face Texas Tech in Ahearn Field House.