FAYETTEVILLE - For the second time this season and the third time in her Arkansas career, senior libero Emily Helm has been selected as the SEC Defensive Player of the Week. During the Razorbacks' three matches this week, Helm totaled 66 digs including a career-best performance and registered 5.08 digs per set.
In the Razorbacks' five-set win at South Carolina, Helm tallied a career-high 32 digs to become just the third player in program history to reach that figure. With the performance against the Gamecocks, she is now tied for third on Arkansas' single-match list and has the second-highest total among SEC liberos in conference play this season. Helm also posted a pair of 11-dig sets during the week, one each against South Carolina and Auburn.
The Queen Creek, Ariz., native is the first Arkansas player to record 30 digs in one match since the 2009 season. Helm followed with a 20-dig effort in a four-set win over Auburn, her fifth match of the year with at least 20 digs. She opened the week with 14 digs against Missouri in a midweek matchup in Fayetteville. Over the Razorbacks' five conference matches, she is averaging 5.00 digs per set which is second among players in league competition.
Helm was previously honored on two occasions as the SEC's top weekly defender. Earlier this season, she was selected following a week in which she averaged 5.31 digs per set and tied a then-career best with 27 digs against Kansas. Her first SEC Defensively Player of the Week came during the 2012 season following a standout showing during the non-conference slate.
Arkansas improved to 11-5 overall and 4-1 in conference play with Sunday's four-set win over Auburn. The Razorbacks return to action Friday by hosting Alabama at Barnhill Arena with first serve scheduled for 7 p.m. (CT). The team will then travel to Knoxville, Tenn., to take on the Lady Vols in a match that will be televised by SportSouth and Fox Sports (check local listings) at 12 p.m.
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