The awards keep coming in for UT Tyler junior volleyball player Mikayla Ware.

Ware, an outside hitter, was selected the Sports Imports/AVCA Division II National Player of the Week along with Lone Star Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors after she helped UT Tyler extend its unbeaten start to the season with a pair of victories over No. 16-ranked Texas A&M-Commerce this week.

Ware registered double-digit kills and digs in both matches against the Lions, recording a team-high 13 kills with 12 digs in the Patriots’ three-set sweep in Tuesday’s opening match before notching 15 kills and a team-high 17 digs in Wednesday’s four-set victory over Texas A&M-Commerce.

With this week’s victories, UT Tyler is now 6-0 with two wins over each of its LSC Central Division rivals at the halfway point of the abbreviated 12-match spring schedule. The Patriots defeated No. 16 Texas A&M-Commerce (25-15, 25-12, 26-24 and 25-16, 25-23, 21-25, 25-10).

Ware is the first recipient of the Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week award at the NCAA Division II level for UT Tyler, which received 56 votes and appeared just outside the top-25 of this week’s AVCA Division II Coaches Poll.

The Patriots are scheduled to return to the court on Tuesday and Wednesday at Dallas Baptist. The matches are slated to begin at 7 p.m.

SOFTBALL

After having its first tournaments canceled, the No. 4 UT Tyler softball team has added a pair of doubleheaders against Montevallo in Madisonville.

With inclement weather predicted for the Northeast Texas region this weekend, No. 4 UT Tyler will head a few hours south for games with Montevallo at the Madisonville High School softball complex. The contests are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, both starting at 1 p.m.

The Falcons are 0-2 while the Patriots have yet to play a game.

PATRIOT HOOPSFresh off two weeks on the road, the UT Tyler men’s basketball returns to their home court for the first time in 34 days with games against Arkansas-Fort Smith on Friday (5 p.m.) and Saturday (3 p.m.). The games are set for the Louise Herrington Patriot Center. Fans are welcomed to attend.

The Patriots picked up a pair of key wins on the road last weekend against Cameron in Edmond, Oklahoma to push their overall record to 4-9 on the season. UT Tyler will look to secure their first victory on their home court since a 106-67 victory on Dec. 18 against Dallas Christian in a 2020-21 season which has been shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

UT Tyler is also at home on Monday for a 2 p.m. game against St. Mary’s.

The women’s team’s games against UAFS were postponed.

TENNIS PLAYERS HONORED

Freshman Egor Shestakov collected the first Lone Star Conference Men’s Tennis Player of the Week for the 2021 season for his performance in UT Tyler’s first three matches of the 2021 season, and freshman Leony Deutschmann claimed the first LSC Women’s Tennis Player of the Week award for her role in leading the Patriots to a victory in the women’s tennis season opener.

Deutschmann (Berlin, Germany) won both of her matches in the Patriots’ season-opening 5-2 win over Harding, winning a three-set battle at No. 3 singles against Harding’s Hana Folse, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, while also earning a 6-4 win at the No. 1 doubles position with doubles partner Chloe Chawner.

Shestakov (Kaliningrad, Russia) went 3-1 individually during the Patriots’ opening-weekend matches against Harding and SMU (NCAA Division I), and he played the No. 2 position in singles and doubles in a setback against Baylor, ranked No. 4 in NCAA Division I. He won his first two singles matches of the year at the No. 3 position, posting three-set wins against Harding and SMU, and he also posted a No. 2 doubles victory against SMU, teaming up with Moritz Mayer for a 6-3 win.

Shestakov is the second player from the UT Tyler men’s tennis program to earn LSC Player of the Week honors, as teammate Jan Lucca Marquardt collected two LSC Player of the Week awards during his 2020 freshman season last year.

BASEBALL ON THE ROADThe Patriot baseball squad is traveling to Laredo to take on Texas A&M International in a three-game series. A doubleheader is set for 11 a.m. Friday with a 1 p.m. contest on Saturday, all at Jorge Hayes Field.

This will be the first ever meeting between the two clubs. UT Tyler is 1-2 while the Dustdevils are 2-1.

No fans will be allowed at the Laredo venue.

The Patriots return home for a Feb. 19-21 series against Texas A&M-Kingsville. It will be Clements Fluids Military Appreciation Weekend. Fans are welcome at Irwin Field.

TWITTER: @PhilHicksETFS

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TWITTER: @PhilHicksETFS

Sports Editor

I am a native Tylerite and I grew up reading the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Tyler Courier-Times. My parents took both the morning and afternoon papers. I came to work here 35 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.