Nov. 23, 2009
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Senior libero Kate Nobilio (Johnsburg, Ill./Johnsburg) has been named the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Week for the third time this season. The weekly honor is also the fifth of Nobilio's impressive Wildcat career, which is the most of any player in program history.
Nobilio played a key role in Northwestern's victories over Wisconsin and Iowa this past weekend, tallying a combined 44 digs and averaging 6.29 digs per set. She notched 23 digs, two assists and a service ace in the four-set victory over the Badgers, the first for NU over its border rival since 2003, then followed it up with 21 digs and five assists against the Hawkeyes in the three-set victory on Senior Night.
With one week left in the regular season, Nobilio continues to close in on a pair of impressive career milestones. Already Northwestern's all-time dig leader, she needs just 10 more to notch her fourth-straight 500-dig season. Nobilio, who currently sits fourth all-time in Big Ten history with 2,155 career digs, needs just 24 to move into third place and 28 to finish her storied career second among the conference's all-time leaders.
Nobilio, who leads the Big Ten in both total digs (490) and digs per set (4.54), ties Christie Gardner in 2005 for the most Player of the Week accolades in a single season. She also surpasses Janine Makar for the most in a Wildcat career, picking up her fifth. It also marks the fourth Defensive Player of the Week honor for Northwestern this season, with junior Sabel Moffett (Temecula, Calif./Chapparal) also taking home the recognition on Nov. 9.
With its NCAA tournament hopes still alive, Northwestern closes out the 2009 regular season this week against a pair of top-15 programs. The Wildcats host in-state rival and fifth-ranked Illinois Wednesday, Nov. 25, in their home finale. The match against the Illini will be televised live on the Big Ten Network, beginning at 7:05 p.m. NU then spends Thanksgiving Day in Minnesota before taking on the 12th-ranked Golden Gophers at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27, in the regular season finale.