Volleyball Senior Ellie Ruprich Named SEC Defensive Player of the Week
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Southeastern Conference announced its weekly award winners for volleyball Monday afternoon, with South Carolina senior middle blocker Ellie Ruprich earning the nod as Defensive Player of the Week. It’s the team’s first honor of the season and the fourth weekly award of Ruprich’s career (2x Freshman of the Week, 2x Defensive).
After just five blocks in the first two games of the season, Ruprich erupted and disrupted all week for South Carolina, finishing with 25 total blocks in wins over Clemson, Miami and Troy. Ruprich averaged 1.92 blocks per set, almost matching the combined total of the three opposing teams over the course of the week. In the week’s opening match, against rival Clemson, Ruprich finished with eight blocks, two service aces, four digs and four kills over four sets. In the team’s five-set win over Miami on Friday night, she had seven more blocks with seven kills, and in the weekend finale against Troy she had 10 blocks, her third career match with double-digit blocks.
Ruprich is part of a Gamecock defense that currently leads the SEC in blocks per set (2.85) and ranks 23rd nationally. Ruprich’s season average of 1.50 blocks per set ranks second in the conference among individuals and 25th among all NCAA players.
The Gamecocks bring a 4-1 overall record into their first road trip of the fall, the first of six road matches in a row that will take up the entire month of September. South Carolina first will travel to Cincinnati this Friday and Saturday, Sept. 8-9, for a two-game series against the Bearcats. Both matches will air on Big 12 NOW on ESPN+, with a 6 p.m. start on Friday and a 1:30 rematch on Saturday afternoon.