Dusek, Morgan Earn SEC Weekly Honors
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Southeastern Conference announced its weekly honors on Monday afternoon, with Kentucky sophomore libero Ashley Dusek earning Co-Defensive Player of the Week, while freshman right-side hitter Brooke Morgan was named the conference’s Freshman of the Week.
The duo helped the Wildcats open SEC play 2-0, first with a sweep at South Carolina before playing a critical role in No. 24 Kentucky’s upset of the No. 5 Florida Gators in Gainesville, Fla. The team’s victory over the Gators was its first road win in Gainesville since 2009 and first win over a top-five opponent since 2013 against the then No. 4 Minnesota Gophers.
Dusek had another impressive weekend to continue a fantastic sophomore campaign. The East Bernard, Texas, product averaged 4.57 digs a set over the weekend with 32 total digs, and passed phenomenally to set up a weekend of .247 hitting for the Wildcats.
Dusek started the weekend with a strong showing at South Carolina where she notched 14 digs in three sets. She also got involved in the serving game with two aces. Dusek recorded her first kill of the year against the Gamecocks, with a set-clinching point at the end of the first frame. She continued to be a defensive stalwart against Florida where she tallied a team-high 18 digs in the match. Dusek also was perfect on serve-receive during the weekend.
The sophomore libero continues an outstanding season, as she leads the SEC with an average of 4.86 digs per set. Her 4.86 digs are also good for 38th in the nation.
Morgan strung together an incredible performance over the weekend en route to being named Freshman of the Week. She produced 20 kills on a scorching .411 clip while adding three digs and two blocks to the mix.
Morgan began the weekend with seven kills and two blocks against the Gamecocks on Friday night where she hit .267 on the evening. The freshman sprung to life with a career game at No. 5 Florida, registering a personal-best 13 kills against the Gators on a red-hot .500 hitting clip. She also dug up three balls in the contest.
The Dike, Iowa, native has developed as the season has progressed, becoming a key part of the Wildcats’ success. Morgan ranks fourth on the team in blocks per set (0.68) and fifth in kills per set (1.84). This past weekend was a large step for the freshman, with nearly 30 percent of her season kills coming in the last two matches.
The Wildcats return to Memorial Coliseum for a three-game home stand, beginning this Friday at 7 p.m. when UK will play host to Mississippi State. The match is set to broadcast nationally on the SEC Network.
Kentucky’s Memorial Coliseum will play host to the NCAA Regionals Dec. 11-12. UK is one of four sites selected for the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight matchups with one team advancing to the Final Four in Omaha, Neb., from the Lexington Region. This marks the third time in five seasons Memorial Coliseum will host this premier volleyball event.