CSU volleyball’s Katie Oleksak named Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week

Austin White

A player pumps her fist in celebration.
Setter Katie Oleksak celebrates a successful play against Wyoming during the game on Sept. 26. The Rams swept the Cowgirls in three sets. (Ashley Potts | Collegian)

Colorado State volleyball’s Katie Oleksak received the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week Award Monday. The setter put up 45 assists to tie for second in CSU history for most assists in a three-set match in the Rams’ sweep over Utah State last Thursday.

The sophomore followed that performance with 38 more assists against Boise State Saturday in the Rams’ conference-clinching sweep. Oleksak also had five kills over the two matches, with four coming against the Broncos.

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Oleksak continues to find ways to dump the ball over the net for a kill while setting and uses this ability to force defenders to move the focus from the outside hitters to her. Some of her kills also came from winning battles at the net against the Broncos in which a ball hung up at the net and Oleksak powered the ball through the taller Broncos trying to push it over.

Standing 5 feet 10 inches, her strength as a blocker at the net has also been pivotal for the Rams, who faced many injuries to their middle blocking core at the start of the season. By becoming a blocking force, Oleksak hopes to round out her game and do well in every area.

Last year, Oleksak was named the Mountain West Freshman of the Year and also won an offensive weekly award back on Sept. 26, 2016. This is her second weekly award of her career as the Rams look to improve in the final month of the season before their 23rd consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.

The Rams take the court next on the road against Nevada with first serve set for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 9.

Collegian sports reporter Austin White can be reached by email at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @ajwrules44