University of Tennessee sophomore middle blocker Janelle Hester earned Southeastern Conference Player of the Week honors in volleyball for the week ending Sept. 24, marking the first time a Tennessee player has received the honor since week six of last season when setter Erica Lear was named the conference's best.
Hester helped the Lady Vols to a 3-0 record on the week, posting 46 kills and 11 blocks in the 11 games. UT opened the week with a 3-0 blanking of UNC-Asheville on Tuesday before opening its SEC schedule with a 3-1 triumph over Western Division foe Ole Miss on Friday. A 3-1 victory over the Bulldogs of Mississippi State on Sunday rounded out the week.
The Davenport, Iowa, native hit over .300 in all three matches, peaking at .586 against MSU on Sunday. She averaged 4.18 kills, one block and .09 assists per game while hitting .424 on the week. Hester also tied a career-high 21 kills against Mississippi State.
I am happy that Janelle is earning the recognition she deserves. She has played beyond my expectations this season, said head coach Rob Patrick. Janelle has been consistent all season and if you consider that she is playing a different position than she did last year, her play is all the more impressive.
The 11-2 Lady Vols have now matched their best start in school history. They looked to extend their winning streak Tuesday night against Virginia Tech, who comes into the match 5-7. Results were not available at press time.