Oct. 5, 2010
By Cameron Harris, Assistant Media Relations Director
Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week Kayla Jeter
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The awards just keep rolling in for Tennessee junior Kayla Jeter as she became just the third player in school history to be named the Sports Imports/American Volleyball Coaches Association National Player of the Week, the organization announced on Tuesday. The accolade comes on the heels of her being named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week and Lady Vol Athlete of the Week on Monday.
"I am very excited for Kayla," UT Head Coach Rob Patrick said. "It's great to see somebody who has put in so much hard work be recognized for that. She has really stepped up in the past couple of weeks as her role has expanded and we've started to ask a lot more out of her. She took on that added responsibility without missing a beat and has continued to play at an extremely high level."
A 5-11 outside hitter, Jeter joins Kelli Scott and Kristen Andre as the only Lady Vols to ever claim the award. Scott earned the honors on Oct. 9, 2000, thanks to a 38-kill, 22-dig performance against Arkansas and 27 kills and 27 digs versus LSU. Andre followed suit on Sept. 7, 2004, after leading UT to a tournament title at the Loyola Marymount Four Points Sheraton Classic.
"This is just such an honor and completely unexpected," Jeter said. "I go into every week ready to play hard and compete to win. To be named the SEC Player of the Week was enough of an honor, so a national recognition like this really means a lot to me."
This past week, Jeter was the driving force offensively for the Big Orange as it swept Kentucky on national television on Wednesday before making quick work of Ole Miss on Friday. The hard-hitting right-hander topped the Tennessee squad with a total of 29 kills on the week, good for a staggering 4.83 per set, while hitting at a terrific .328 clip with just seven errors in the two contests combined.
Jeter, who only started playing all six rotations and passing last weekend, was solid in her newfound defensive role as well, collecting 22 digs and four blocks and successfully handling 31 of the 32 serves that came her way. Against Kentucky on ESPNU, the Solon, Ohio, native registered the first double-double of her career with a team-high 13 kills and a career-best 13 digs. She also had a .303 attack average and a pair of blocks in UT's first sweep over the Wildcats since Nov. 6, 2005.
Just two days later versus Ole Miss, Jeter missed out on her second consecutive double-double by the slimmest of margins, tallying 16 kills on .353 hitting with nine digs. With her stellar performances last week, Jeter vaulted into the ninth spot on the SEC kills chart with an average of 3.13 per set. She also ranks second on the team, behind only fifth-year senior middle blocker Leah Hinkey, with an astounding .325 hitting percentage for the season.
Jeter and the Lady Vol volleyball team will next be in action when they hit the road again this weekend. They will first travel to square off with Arkansas at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, Oct. 8, in Fayetteville, Ark., before making the trek to Baton Rouge for a 2:30 p.m. ET showdown against No. 16 LSU two days later. The contest against the Razorbacks will be televised live on Cox Sports Television.