UT junior Nikki Fowler
Nov. 16, 2009
By Cameron Harris, Assistant Media Relations Director
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - In what is quickly becoming a weekly tradition, University of Tennessee junior outside hitter Nikki Fowler has earned her second consecutive Southeastern Conference Offensive Player of the Week award, the league office announced Monday afternoon.
The Dallas, Texas, native has now claimed the honors a conference-high three times this year and six times in her three seasons at Rocky Top, making her the second-most decorated offensive player in league history, behind only three-time SEC Player of the Year Aury Cruz from Florida who garnered offensive player of the week honors seven times during her stint in Gainesville.
Fowler has now picked up weekly accolades three times in each of the past two seasons. Only four other players in league history (Shonda Cole - South Carolina - 2006; Michelle Green - Alabama - 2000; Alexandra Oquendo - Georgia - 2004; Kristen Andre - Tennessee - 2005) have accomplished that feat once and Fowler is the only player to have done it twice. LSU's Brittnee Cooper is the only other player to have won the weekly offensive award more than once, claiming the honors twice.
The 6-2 outside hitter helped the Lady Vols reach the 20-win mark for the second straight season, seventh time in the past 10 years and 18th time overall this past weekend as she continued her outstanding all-around play with two more stellar performances on the road at Auburn and Georgia. As she has been all season, Fowler was the team's top offensive weapon, taking over a third of the team's swings and recording 40 percent of its kills with an astounding total of 51 in just two matches.
She was a force all over the court as evidenced by the fact that she averaged 5.10 kills, 2.80 digs and 1.20 blocks per set while collecting her 10th and 11th consecutive double-doubles, giving her 14 this season and 32 in her career. Fowler also hit .327 with just 14 errors in 113 attacks, which is 102 points above her season average.
Against Auburn on Friday, the Dallas, Texas, native pounded out a match-high 22 kills, in addition to tallying 15 digs, four blocks and a pair of assists. She followed up that performance with arguably the best match of her career on Sunday at Georgia where she delivered a personal-best 29 kills on .362 hitting (29-8-58) and narrowly missed her second career triple-double with 13 digs and career-high tying eight blocks.
The 29 putaways stand as the ninth-highest total in a five-set match in school history (highest in 25-point scoring format), tie for the most by an SEC player in any match this season and top her previous best of 28 which she set against South Carolina on Nov. 11, 2007. She now has five matches with 20+ kills in 2009 and 14 in her career. The back-to-back 20+ kill performances mark the first time in her career that she has accomplished that feat in consecutive contests.
During her 11-match double-double streak, Fowler is averaging an incredible 4.47 kills and 3.60 digs per set, in addition to hitting at a solid .268 clip and collecting 0.95 blocks per frame. For the season, she leads the team in kills (379), kills per set (3.72), total attacks (1041), points (450.5) and points per set (4.42). She also ranks second on the squad with 335 digs and 3.28 digs per set and third with 93 blocks and 0.91 blocks per set. Fowler is also passing at a steady .959 rate with just 22 errors in 542 reception attempts.
The Orange and White will return home to close out the 2009 regular-season slate with its longest homestand of the year. The Lady Vols will first take on No. 10 Florida at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20. A 1:30 p.m. contest against South Carolina will follow two days later, before 11th-ranked Kentucky makes the trip to Rocky Top to finish off the regular season. The UT-UK face-off is set to take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 25.
|Career SEC Offensive Player of the Week Awards|