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Nov. 21, 2011

by Koby Padgett
Assistant Media Relations Director

COLUMBIA, S.C. – For the second time in 2011, South Carolina sophomore libero Paige Wheeler earned Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors, the league office announced today.

The Virginia Beach, Va., native averaged 5.75 digs per set in the Gamecocks’ two wins over Auburn and Georgia on the weekend, which includes her 28 on Sunday against the Bulldogs. That contest tied her output against Elon earlier this year and ranks third in South Carolina history in a four-set match. The sophomore also had eight assists and two aces on the weekend.

For the season, Wheeler has 463 digs, the third most in the rally-scoring era and sixth most for a Gamecock in history. She claimed her second weekly award, becoming the seventh Gamecock to have two or more weekly conference certificates to her credit. She also joins Hannah Lawing as a multiple-time defensive honoree for South Carolina.

Tennessee claimed the other two awards, as Kelsey Robinson took the offensive player honor and Tiffany Baker the freshman award.

South Carolina plays at Florida on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. EST to close the 2011 season.