Oct. 25, 2010
By Cameron Harris, Assistant Media Relations Director
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - For the second time in her career, Lady Vol senior middle blocker Leah Hinkey has been named the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Week, the conference office announced Monday. She previously picked up the award in the opening week of her sophomore campaign on Aug. 27, 2007.
A 6-1 middle blocker, Hinkey posted one of her best weeks of the season as she averaged 1.67 blocks per set while leading Tennessee to a split of SEC matches. The Glenwood Springs, Colo., native topped the squad with 10 total putbacks, including a season-high eight on the road at South Carolina on Sunday. With that effort, Hinkey moved into fifth place in SEC history with 538 career blocks during the rally scoring era, passing LSU's Lauren DeGirolamo.
Hinkey also hit at an amazing .579 clip last week with 12 kills and just a single attack error in 19 swings. Hinkey had been errorless in three straight matches before making an error in the second set of the contest against the Gamecocks. In a nationally-televised contest at No. 1 Florida on Wednesday, Hinkey tallied a .600 attack average with six kills on 10 swings. Just a few days later at South Carolina, she added six more putaways while posting a .556 hitting percentage.
Over her last four matches, she is hitting .510 with 26 kills and just the one error on 49 attack attempts. She also has 17 blocks during that span, good for an average of 1.42 per set. For the season, she currently leads the Lady Vols with 86 total blocks and an average of 1.13 per set, which ranks her fourth in the SEC. Hinkey also has a team-high .362 hitting percentage which places her sixth among all players in the league.
Hinkey and the Lady Vol volleyball team will return home to the friendly confines of Thompson-Boling Arena this week for a season-long three match homestand. The Big Orange will kick things off by closing out the non-conference portion of its schedule at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 27, against Louisville.
UT will then return to SEC play against Auburn two days later at the same time before welcoming Georgia to Rocky Top for a 2 p.m. contest on Sunday, Oct. 31, which will be televised live on Comcast Sports Southeast.
The match against Auburn on Friday, Oct. 29, has been designated Tennessee's "Dig Pink" contest. The Lady Vols will partner with the Knoxville affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure to host the event which is designed to raise awareness in the fight against breast cancer.
For the most up-to-date information on the Lady Vol volleyball team, make sure you follow @UTLadyVols and @UTVolleyball on Twitter.