Aug. 30, 2010
By Cameron Harris, Assistant Media Relations
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - After claiming Most Valuable Player honors at the Comcast Lady Vol Classic for the second consecutive season, University of Tennessee senior outside hitter Nikki Fowler has been unanimously voted as the Lady Vol Athlete of the Week. Also nominated was freshman soccer player Tori Bailey.
The Tennessee volleyball team, which moved up to No. 17 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll on Monday afternoon, swept through its home tournament in impressive fashion, thanks in large part to the tremendous performance put forth by Fowler.
A native of Dallas, Texas, Fowler led the Big Orange in both kills and digs for the weekend with totals of 35 and 30, respectively. She also averaged a tournament-best 3.89 kills per set in addition to hitting at a stellar .310 clip, tallying a squad-high five service aces, collecting four blocks and finishing as the team's top passer, with a .974 reception percentage. In the three matches, she had just one reception error in a squad-high 39 reception attempts.
After finishing the 2009 campaign with 16 straight double-doubles, Fowler kicked off 2010 with two more, recording 13 kills and 11 digs against Xavier and 12 kills and 10 digs versus Chattanooga, to give her 39 for her career. Her streak ended by the slimmest of margins against Virginia Tech on Saturday night, however, as she completed the contest with just nine digs, even though that was still good enough to lead the team. She also had 10 kills and just one error on 21 swings for a spectacular .429 hitting percentage.
A freshman midfielder, Bailey scored the Lady Vols' match-winning goal against Richmond on Sunday afternoon as they downed the Spiders, 2-1. She also had an assist in that contest and now leads the team in both assists and points.
The Lady Vol volleyball team will be back in action on Friday afternoon when it takes on Oklahoma in the University of Houston Tournament, held in Houston, Texas. First serve is set for 4:30 p.m. ET. UT will also square off with No. 15 Florida State and host Houston the following day.