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Stipanovich earns SEC defensive accolades

Stipanovich earns SEC defensive accolades

FAYETTEVILLE – Kelli Stipanovich, a senior outside hitter for the University of Arkansas volleyball team, has been named the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Week as released Monday by the league office. This marks the first career SEC honor for Stipanovich who becomes the sixth player in program history to earn the defensive honor.

"This is a well-deserved honor for Kelli," head coach Robert Pulliza said. "It is always rewarding to be recognized by the SEC. Not only did she have impressive defensive numbers this weekend but she had 14 kills and hit .333 against Florida, the No. 13 team in the country. Kelli is certainly putting up All-American numbers this season and is setting a great example for our team with her play."

Stipanovich tallied a match-high 14 digs in three sets at No. 13 Florida. She was the only player in the match to finish with a double-figure dig total and helped Arkansas out-dig the Gators by three in the match. Stipanovich also completed her team-leading seventh double-double performance of the season with 14 kills on a .333 hitting percentage against Florida.

In the team’s weekend finale at South Carolina, the Razorback senior had a team-high 12 digs, finished one off her career best with six total blocks-including the match-clinching stuff with Amanda Anderson-and registered a career-high four service aces. Stipanovich did not commit a reception error in 30 attempts against the Gamecocks.

Stipanovich led Arkansas during the weekend with 4.33 digs per set, nearly two more digs per set than her season average, and was second on the team with 1.17 blocks per set, more than double her season average. In addition to her defensive effort, the St. Louis, Mo., native moved into a tie for 14th place with Christina Lawrence (2004-08) on Arkansas’ all-time kills list.

With its road trip to Florida and South Carolina in the books, Arkansas returns to Fayetteville for five consecutive matches. The Razorbacks host Auburn and Georgia this weekend at Barnhill Arena. During the five-match home stand, Arkansas will also face Western Division foes Ole Miss, Alabama and LSU. The Oct. 26 matchup with LSU will be televised by ESPNU.

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Sports Category : Volleyball (W)