The Marshalltown Community College Athletic Department has named sophomore setter Jelena Dukic and sophomore forward Rafael Vacas the student-athletes for the month of September. This monthly award is given to students who exhibit an elite level of competition on the court/field as well as a commitment to success in the classroom while being leaders on campus.
Jelena Dukic has led the volleyball team to its best start in program history at 23-3. The catalyst of the offense, Dukic has amassed 827 assists so far this season which is the highest total in the ICCAC and good enough for 3rd nationally. She also leads the ICCAC in service aces with 45, which ranks her 6th in the NJCAA. Dukic, the only sophomore on the Tiger Volleyball squad, has been named the ICCAC Offensive Player of the Week twice during the month of September for her superior efforts on the court.
"Jelena has done a great job all year of being a leader for our program both on and off the court," Head Coach Justin Hoskins said about Dukic. "She has been consistent in her level of play and continues to prove herself as one of the top junior college setters in the country. She makes great decisions with the ball and is key to making our offense flow. She's the type of player who helps make the game easier for those around her by putting them in positions to be successful and deserves any recognition that she gets."
Rafael Vacas has emerged as one of the on field leaders for the nationally ranked #11 MCC Men's Soccer team. He leads the team, and the ICCAC in goals scored with 13 which is good enough for 8th best in the NJCAA. He also leads the Tigers in points with 29, and shots with 35. He is a constant threat in the Tiger offense and that has been prevalent in the ICCAC, earning him Offensive Player of the Week for one week during September.
"After losing an impactful player like Kino Ryosuke, Rafa took a step forward this year to become a difference maker at the front of our attack," Head Coach Rafael Martinez said of Vacas. "His commitment to work for his team is something that doesn't show in stats but is clearly noticeable within the group. He is respected as a teammate and leader and feel he is benefitting from his teammates work just as much as the group is benefitting from his performances. This correlation between individual performances, the recognition they bring and our team success is something that everyone believes in and is making a difference this season."