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Nov. 7, 2011

by Koby Padgett
Assistant Media Relations Director

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina sophomore libero Paige Wheeler earned her first weekly honor, as the Southeastern Conference named her the league’s volleyball Defensive Player of the Week on Monday.

Wheeler posted 5.83 digs per set during the matches against Ole Miss and Alabama, including 20 in Sunday’s win over the Crimson Tide. She also played well in serve-receive, successfully passing 39 of 40 serves directed at her on the weekend. Her 20 digs against Alabama ranks as the third-most in an SEC three-set match this season.

In just 51 career matches, Wheeler has posted 490 digs, moving into 40th position on the Gamecocks’ all-time charts. Now ranking third in the SEC in digs, Wheeler holds a 4.45 digs average overall this year and a 4.16 average in SEC play.

Wheeler is the third Gamecock to garner the weekly defensive award since its inception in 2004 and earns the fifth certificate in program history, following Hannah Lawing’s three and Sarah Cline’s one.

Arkansas’s Jasmine Norton claimed the SEC Offensive Player of the Week award with a 6.06 points average during the Razorbacks’ matches. Helen Boyle of LSU took the SEC Freshman of the Week honor, hitting .377 and averaging a double-double in the wins over Georgia and Auburn.

South Carolina heads out to take on the top-two teams in the SEC Western Division this weekend, playing at Arkansas on Friday night and at LSU on Sunday.