Three UK volleyball players earn weekly SEC awards

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ/UK Athletics) – Madi Skinner was named the Southeastern Conference’s Player of the Week, in addition to offensive player of the week, the SEC office announced Monday.

Additionally, Emma Grome was named the SEC’s setter of the week for the fourth week in a row and libero Eleanor Beavin was named the freshman of the week.

Sophomore Madi Skinner averaged 4.50 kills per set this week, with 17 kills and a .615 hitting percentage in UK’s Sunday sweep over the Auburn Tigers. Skinner’s 17 kills on just 26 swings is one of the most efficient nights of her career, and also set a new season-best mark in SEC play for hitting percentage. Skinner also had five blocks on the weekend as Kentucky held Auburn to just .072 hitting on the weekend and three sets of .000 or below in the six played. Skinner has 10+ kills in all but four matches on the season.

Setter Emma Grome guided the Kentucky offense to the highest-hitting percentage match of any SEC team this season, as UK hit .506 in Sunday’s 3-0 sweep of Auburn. Grome averaged 12.0 assists per set this week, and UK’s offense hit .406 in the two matches as Grome continued to run one of the best offenses in the nation with 72 assists in the two matches. The freshman had her fifth double-double of the season and third of SEC play Saturday afternoon, logging 33 assists and 10 digs in Kentucky’s sweep of Auburn.

Freshman Eleanor Beavin averaged 5.50 digs per set this weekend as Kentucky held Auburn to a .072 hitting percentage in the series played this weekend. Beavin recorded 17 digs in Kentucky’s Saturday night win before posting 16 in Sunday’s series finale. Beavin’s 5.50 digs per set are her best defensive performance of the season in any two-match series, as she has now recorded double-digit digs in all but one match in SEC action this season. Beavin leads Kentucky with 3.57 digs per set and threw in her 21st ace of the season in.

With the two wins this weekend, Kentucky improved to 22-4 overall on the season and 15-1 in Southeastern Conference play with two matches remaining in the regular season. UK will host Florida (14-2 SEC) for a two-match series that will decide the 2021 SEC Championship on Friday and Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. ET. Tickets are available at UKathletics.com for both matches. Mississippi State is also in the equation, sitting at 15-2 on the year and one match more to play, but UK has the head-to-head over MSU thanks to its 3-1 win back in October.

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