COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Air Force Academy's Shaylor Billings (Jr., MB) and BYU's Anna Lena Smith (Sr., S) have been selected as the Mountain West Conference Volleyball Co-Players of the Week. Both helped their respective teams go undefeated in tournaments over the weekend while posting impressive individual numbers.
Named the MVP of the Falcon Invitational, Billings led her team to its second tournament title in as many weeks, earning her second MVP award in the process. During the week's four matches, including a 3-1 loss at No. 23 Colorado, Billings averaged 4.5 kills per game while hitting .380 (63-15-126). She also totaled 11 blocks, five of those solos, 26 digs and seven service aces during the week. She registered double figures in kills in all three tournament matches, including two 20-plus outings. In the tournament opener against Morgan State, Billings notched a then-career-high 20 kills while hitting .533 (20-4-30) to lead the team to the 3-0 victory. She followed that performance with a double-double that included a new career-best 24 kills and 10 digs in a 3-1 win over Tennessee Tech. She finished the weekend with 11 kills in a 3-0 win over Weber State. A product of Fallbrook, Calif., Billings committed just one attack error in 42 attempts during the Tennessee Tech match to register a .548 attack percentage.
An all-tournament selection at the Loyola Marymount Invitational, Smith was the key to BYU's success as it swept both Houston and LMU in the tournament. Smith averaged 14.69 assists per game as she distributed the attack to help teammates Mari Carpenter (Sr., OH) and Nina Puikkonen (So., MB) also earn all-tournament recognition. Against Houston on Friday, Smith recorded 43 assists and put away six kills of her own for a .559 attack percentage (6-1-9) in the sweep. On Saturday, Smith countered LMU's middle-focused block by setting up outside hitters Carpenter and Caroline Bower (Sr., OH) with 17 and 13 kills respectively, while mixing in 16 kills to Puikkonen in the middle. A product of Mesa, Ariz. (Gilbert High), Smith was chosen the team's MVP for the week by the BYU coaches and players.
This is the first conference player of the week honor for Billings and the second for Smith who earned the WAC Mountain Division award in 1996 (Oct. 1-6).