Ellie Snook digging balls at a furious pace and Genevieve Florig playing big at the net are two reasons the surging Portland State volleyball team has emerged as a contender in the Big Sky Conference.

Snook, from West Linn, and Florig, a Sunset High grad, each has been recognized this season as the Big Sky defensive player of the week. Snook, the reigning Big Sky libero of the year, was honored three times during the recent seven-match win streak, a run that has the Vikings in second place at 8-2 in conference play after a significant Oct. 23 win over Northern Colorado at the Viking Pavilion.