Oct. 15, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – After anchoring the Lady Vol defense to wins at LSU and Arkansas, Tennessee volleyball junior libero Ellen Mullins has been named the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Week for the second consecutive week, as announced by the league office on Monday.
Mullins followed up her career-best 34-dig performance against Missouri on Friday, Oct. 5 with 32 scoops in a nationally-televised match at LSU on Wednesday. That mark ranks third in the rally scoring era in the Tennessee record books. The Big Orange’s win over the Tigers was its third consecutive five-set victory, just the second time in program history the squad has won back to back to back five-setter.
The Nashville native then posted 17 digs and a career-high four aces at Arkansas on Sunday to guide the Lady Vols to its fourth 3-0 sweep of the season and extend the Orange & White’s winning streak to four matches.
The junior, who has started every match at the libero position for UT, averaged an impressive 6.12 digs per set this week. The wins improved the Lady Vols to 13-5 overall and 6-3 in SEC play.
For the season, Mullins ranks sixth in the conference with a 4.18 digs per set average. She has 305 total scoops on the year and is just 75 short of joining Tennessee’s 1,000-dig club with 925 career digs. Behind Mullins, the Lady Vols currently rank second in the league in digs per set for conference matches with an average of 17.26.
It’s the fourth SEC weekly honor for the Big Orange this season. In addition to Mullins winning the defensive honor the past two weeks, junior outside hitter Kelsey Robinson and senior right side Leslie Cikra were named the league’s offensive player of the week earlier in the campaign.
The Lady Vols continue their three match roadswing on Friday, Oct. 19 when they travel to College Station, Texas, for the first time in nearly 18 years to take on new conference member Texas A&M. First serve against the Aggies is slated for 7 p.m. ET.