FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – For a second time in as many weeks, redshirt senior and team co-captain Pilar Victoria has caught the attention of the league office and has been named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week as announced Monday afternoon. In four matches last week, Victoria averaged 6.00 kills per set (.290 hitting percentage) and 3.19 digs per set on her way to registering four double-doubles in four matches.
Victoria was named the MVP of the UCSB Thunderdome Classic in which the Razorbacks posted wins over Yale and host UCSB and pushed No. 19 USC to five sets in the weekend opener. Against USC, she had 29 kills to go along with 15 digs and five total blocks, both season-high figures. In the weekend finale, she registered 32 kills on a .379 hitting percentage in a five-set win over UCSB.
The Caguas, Puerto Rico, native has now hit .368 or higher in seven of Arkansas’ 10 matches this season, posting at least 19 kills in each of those seven instances as she did in the first match of the week against Oral Roberts. With 32 kills against UCSB, she notched the fifth 30-kill performance of her career which is the most in program history. Of the 10 30-kill efforts around the country this season, Victoria is responsible for two of them.
Through the first three weeks of the 2017 season, Victoria leads the SEC and NCAA with 6.43 kills per set and 6.91 points per set. She also carries a .348 hitting percentage from her outside hitter position. Monday’s recognition is her third overall SEC Player of the Week selection which ties for the most in program history with Denise Baez (1994-96), Kim Storey (1995-98) and Sara Kincaid (2002-03).
Victoria was joined on the Thunderdome Classic All-Tournament Team by freshman teammate Hailey Dirrigl who produced 11 or more kills in all three matches including a career-best 14 kills against No. 19 USC. Sophomore setter Rachel Rippee is running the offense to the tune of 11.97 assists per set which leads the SEC and ranks 11th in the nation. The Razorbacks’ .263 team hitting percentage is 34th in the NCAA.
Arkansas continues its non-conference slate with a road trip to Dallas for the SMU Doubletree Classic to face Sam Houston State and host SMU. The two-day event begins Sept. 15 at Moody Coliseum. The Razorbacks’ next home match is Wed., Sept. 20 when the team opens SEC play against Tennessee at Barnhill Arena.
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