Sept. 15, 2008
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - After leading the University of Tennessee volleyball team to a pair of victories at the Comcast Lady Vol Classic this weekend, junior libero Chloe Goldman and sophomore outside hitter Nikki Fowler have been named the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Week and Lady Vol Athlete of the Week, respectively.
The award is Goldman's first of the season and second of her career as she also picked up the honors on Nov. 5, 2007, after tallying 40 digs in a contest against Ole Miss. Fowler's accolades mark the third time this season that she has been recognized for her achievements on the court as she was also picked up the SEC Offensive Player of the Week and Lady Vol Athlete of the Week on Sept. 2 following UT's stay at the Marquette Kickoff Tournament.
This weekend, Goldman put forth a stellar defensive display, leading all players in the tournament with a total of 71 digs in three contests, good for an amazing 5.46 digs per set average. She topped UT in the digs category in all three matches with totals of 12, 23 and 36 against Gardner-Webb, No. 17 Illinois and Dayton, respectively. Her 36 digs against Dayton marked the fourth highest single-match total in UT history and were just six digs off the school record set by Amy Morris at Notre Dame on Nov. 26, 2005.
The 5-6 junior from Monterey, Calif., was one of the team's best passers on the weekend as well, with just one reception error in 74 attempts. She currently ranks second in the UT record book with a career average of 4.00 digs per set. After three weekends of play, Goldman paces the team with 127 digs (4.10 per set) and is tied for fourth on the team with five aces. She also has just three reception errors in 126 attempts (.976) this season.
Fowler, meanwhile, was the lone Tennessee representative on the Comcast Lady Vol Classic All-Tournament Team after smashing out a tournament-high 49 kills on 131 total attacks in three matches. The Dallas, Texas, native paced UT in kills in all three contests, was second on the squad with totals of 36 digs and third with nine blocks.
The 6-2 sophomore recorded her first two double-doubles of the season with 18 kills and a career-high 19 digs vs. No. 17 Illinois and a season-best 22 kills and 13 digs against Dayton. For the weekend, she hit at a solid .275 clip with 49 kills and just 13 errors on 131 swings. Much like Goldman, Fowler was also extremely effective in the passing game, handling 55 reception attempts without a single error over the weekend. She also topped the Lady Vols with 54.0 total points, good for an average of 4.15 per set
Tennessee will begin the league portion of its slate next weekend when it welcomes a pair of Southeastern Conference Western Division foes to Rocky Top in Mississippi State and Alabama. The Lady Vols will square off with the Bulldogs at 7 p.m. on Fri., Sept. 19 in Thompson-Boling Arena before taking on the Crimson Tide on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.