Sept. 25, 2006
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - University of Tennessee senior middle blocker Sarah Blum has been awarded Southeastern Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors after leading the No. 17 Lady Vols to victories over Louisville, Ole Miss and Mississippi State this past week.
"Sarah worked really hard this off-season to improve her quickness and stamina, which has allowed her to play at a high level for entire matches this year," Patrick said. "She also put in a lot of work on her offensive game and has become a much bigger part of our offensive system after being a tremendous defensive player for us the past three seasons."
The Tulsa, Okla., native paced the team's efforts in a number of statistical categories, leading the squad with four solo blocks, 19 block assists, 23 total blocks, 1.92 blocks per game, 61.5 points and 5.12 points per game. She also finished second on the team with 48 kills, 4.0 kills per game and a .347 hitting percentage (48-14-98).
Blum got the ball rolling with a solid 14-kill performance in the Lady Vols' four-game victory over Louisville at home on Tuesday night. She also had three blocks and matched her career-high with six digs in the contest.
In the win at Ole Miss on Friday night, Blum posted match highs with 20 kills and nine blocks in addition to a .444 hitting percentage (20-4-36). She followed that effort with her third double-double of the season on Sunday, as she tallied 14 kills and 11 blocks in the Orange and White's four-game victory over Mississippi State.
This season, Blum is leading the team with 14 solo blocks, 72 block assists, 86 total blocks, 1.79 blocks per game, 226.0 total points and 4.73 points per game. She also ranks third on the team with 171 kills and 3.56 kills per game.
The award marks the first time in Blum's career that she has earned Offensive Player of the Week accolades from the SEC, although she has taken home SEC Defensive Player of the Week on two different occasions. She first picked up that honor following week five of her freshman year and claimed the prize again after week 10 of her sophomore season.
The Lady Vols will return to the court Sept. 29 when they travel to Auburn for a 7 p.m. CDT contest with the Tigers in Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum. From there, UT will move on to Gainesville where a 1 p.m. showdown with No. 10 Florida is set to take place in the Stephen C. O'Connell Center on Oct. 1. Tennessee has won 10 straight against the Tigers and three of the last four versus the Gators.