O'Conner, Napper Earn SEC Player of the Week Honors
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- After a perfect 3-0 week and near record-breaking performances, Kentucky volleyball seniors Lauren O'Conner and Jackie Napper were named Players of the Week by the Southeastern Conference. O'Conner earned her second consecutive SEC Player of the Week award, while Napper was named Defensive Player of the Week for the fourth time in 2014.
The two awards this week bring UK's total to eight Player of the Week honors in 2014, the most in a single season in program history. Napper's four defensive accolades are also the most Player of the Week honors by a Wildcat in a single season in team history.
Napper logged at least 12 digs in all three of UK's matches this week, highlighted by a career-high-tying 26 in Friday's 3-1 win vs. Georgia. A Louisville, Ky., native, Napper did not record a single reception error in the three matches on 85 total attempts.
A week after earning her first career Player of the Week honors, O'Conner backed it up with three more matches with double-digit kills. The senior led UK in kills in all three matches, including 21 vs. Georgia, one shy of tying a career best. O'Conner began the week with 11 kills on a career-high .611 hitting in a victory over Morehead State.
O'Conner's 11 kills Monday vs. Morehead State and 21 vs. Georgia on Friday also came with zero attack errors. The Taylor Mill native has tallied 11 or more kills in five consecutive matches, including 19 or more in three of those contests. With 1,137 career kills, O'Conner became the 15th Wildcat all-time to eclipse the 1,000 kill mark on Oct. 5. The senior currently ranks 13th in the UK record books and second in the 25-point rally scoring era.
With 1,399 career digs, Napper is fourth all-time in program history, while her 420 digs in 2014 are seventh in team history in the 25-point rally scoring era. Napper is averaging a career-best 4.52 digs per set, second in the SEC.
No. 15 Kentucky travels to Ole Miss on Friday at 8 p.m. ET before returning home for a top-15 battle and "Pack the House" match with No. 7 Florida Sunday at Noon ET. Florida owns a perfect 13-0 record in SEC play and is 19-3 overall. The match has been designated a "Wildcat Whiteout" vs. the Gators, and the first 1,000 fans will receive a free rally towel. Additionally, groups of 10 or more can get tickets for $2.
Visit UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information on the Kentucky volleyball team and all 22 varsity sports. For additional info on the volleyball team like Kentucky Volleyball on Facebook or follow the team on Twitter at @KentuckyVB.