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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- Averaging 5.67 digs in 12 sets, junior defensive specialist Beth Brankle picked up her first career Sooner Athletic Defensive Player of the Week honors, the conference offices announced Monday (Aug. 29).

Brankle, a 5-foot-4 back-line defender, racked up 68 digs on a weekend that John Brown (5-2) finished 1-2, picking up a win over Benedictine (Kan.) but suffered a pair of losses versus Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.) and St. Mary (Kan.).

So far in 2016, Brankle has recorded 25 digs or more in four of JBU's seven matches. In the setback to St. Mary, Brankle missed tying her single-match dig record by three, finishing the contest with 32 scoops.

"I am really happy for Beth to finally receive the recognition she has worked so hard," said head coach Ken Carver. "The conference has had a number of very good defensive specialists the past two years and, while Beth's performance has put her right up there with those other players, it always seemed as if she was the one that was overlooked.

"Beyond her defensive numbers, Beth is also a big contributor to our service game as well and leads our team in total aces. I'm proud of her and how well she has performed on the court to start the season."

Brankle is currently ranked No. 4 nationally in total digs (147), No. 10 in aces (15) and No. 34 in digs per set (5.07).

The Golden Eagles return to action on Wednesday (Aug. 31) when John Brown hosts Williams Baptist (Ark.) in its home opener at 6 p.m.

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