Nov. 12, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – After leading the Lady Vol volleyball team to a pair of straight-set victories at Ole Miss and South Carolina, junior libero Ellen Mullins has been named the Southeastern Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Week, as announced by the league office on Monday.
The honor is Mullins’ third defensive player of the week award of the 2012 campaign, as the Lady Vols closed out their regular season road slate with a pair of wins to improve to 19-6 overall and 12-4 in SEC action. UT finishes its road schedule with a 10-2 record.
The Nashville native finished with 33 total digs last week for an average of 5.50 per set, and helped the Lady Vols post a .316 attacking clip as the squad’s primary passer. She also added eight assists and one service ace over two matches.
On Friday in Oxford, Miss., Mullins led the team with 15 digs in the back row as Tennessee topped Ole Miss, 25-15, 25-18, 25-19, to record its ninth consecutive victory against the Rebels. UT hit .364 against Ole Miss.
Mullins, who recently became the Lady Vols’ 13th member of the 1,000-career dig club, averaged an even 6.0 digs per set on Sunday at South Carolina, finishing the match with a team-high 18 scoops. The Big Orange fought back for a 27-25 first set victory against the Gamecocks and then took the next two sets by decisive 25-16 and 25-18 margins, respectively. It was also UT’s ninth straight win over South Carolina.
Mullins currently ranks fourth in the SEC in digs per set with an average of 4.49. In conference matches only, she’s averaging 4.87 scoops a game and ranks third. Behind Mullins, Tennessee ranks second in SEC matches with 17.32 digs per set.
It’s the sixth SEC weekly award for Tennessee this season, including the fourth defensive player of the week honor. In addition to Mullins’ three, redshirt senior DeeDee Harrison has garnered one defensive player of the week award, while senior Leslie Cikra and junior Kelsey Robinson have each been named offensive player of the week.
The Orange and White returns home after a four-match roadswing to conclude the 2012 regular season at home with four matches. The Lady Vols will host Auburn in the first meeting of the season in what will be head coach Rob Patrick’s 500th career match at Tennessee on Friday, Nov. 16. First serve at Thompson-Boling Arena is slated for 7 p.m.