By Lindsey Frazier
CHRIS CODUTO/Arizona Daily Wildcat
UA junior outside hitter Jennifer Abernathy spikes a return during a match last season in McKale Center. During the Wildcats' first homestand of the year this weekend, Abernathy earned Most Valuable Player honors for her play in the Four Points University Plaza Wildcat Classic.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Junior wins 2nd Pac-10 player of week award
Things couldn't get much better this week for Wildcat volleyball player Jennifer Abernathy. After celebrating her twentieth birthday on Friday, the junior outside hitter was named Most Valuable Player of the Four Points University Plaza Wildcat Classic and Pac-10 Player of the Week for Sept. 7-12.
Abernathy netted 50 kills with 22 errors on 111 attempts in addition to 25 digs and a total of 53.5 points in the Wildcats tournament sweep over Nicholls State, No. 9 Pepperdine and No. 18 Louisville. The sweep marked the first time since 2001 that No. 19 Arizona was able clinch back-to-back victories over ranked opponents.
"I'm excited about everything (that has happened this past week)," Abernathy said. "I think this season, more than last season, I've been a lot more consistent, and I think that's been helping with my stats. Overall, I just think I'm more consistent."
"(My birthday has) been great, I've been getting a lot of presents," she added, after sitting out yesterday's practice with shin splints.
The injury reminded the Antioch, Calif., native of the one real present she'd like to celebrate receiving.
"Maybe a new pair of shins," she added.
In Arizona's sweep over Pepperdine, Abernathy averaged 21 kills on 42 attempts, with a hitting percentage of .381, and recorded only five errors. In the final match against Louisville, she earned her third double-double of the season as she dished out 19 kills and 12 digs.
"For me personally, one of the great success stories is Jennifer Abernathy," said UA head coach Dave Rubio of his team's 5-2 record so far. "Even though she came in with great accolades and was a great class, the reality is that she had a lot to learn. Kim (Glass) casts a pretty big shadow on our team, and with Kim not being around, Jennifer had to step up."
Rubio added, "(Abernathy is a) great leader and that's the main thing. She's always been very talented and can jump high and hit hard but (she has) great leadership on the floor. The energy that she gives to the team and her teammates is just terrific."
On the season, Abernathy maintains an average of 4.36 kills and 2.16 digs per game.
This is the second time Abernathy has held the weekly Pacific 10 Conference honor. She got the nod in 2003 after averaging 6.14 kills per game on .522 hitting against No. 9 Stanford and No. 6 California.
"I think they both mean the same," Abernathy said, referring to the awards. "It's just always an honor to get something like that. I'm excited for both of them."