The 2005 Arizona women's volleyball season may be young, but senior outside hitter Jennifer Abernathy is already raking in the accolades, as she was named Pacific 10 Conference Player of the Week yesterday.
After leading all players in kills per game (4.67) at the Four Points University Plaza Wildcat Classic in McKale Center over the weekend, Abernathy was recognized as the tournament MVP. She ranked second in service aces per game (.44) and sported a .400 hitting percentage.
"It feels great," said the Antioch, Calif., native. "I'm just happy that our team is where we're at right now. Getting the award is great, but I'm never focused on myself."
Over the course of the tournament, Abernathy tallied 42 kills with 10 errors on 80 attempts and collected 16 digs.
Arizona head coach Dave Rubio credited Abernathy's performance during practices for her success in games.
"Jen played pretty much normal in terms of how she's been playing every day in practice, (and she) carried that over to the matches," he said. "It's nice for her to be recognized for that accomplishment. But I think Jen is ready to make a lot of noise this year. Hopefully this is just one step along the way."
This is the third time Abernathy has earned the honor and is Arizona's 22nd all-time selection.
Although she said she suffers from shin splints, Abernathy said she is not going to let injury affect her performance on the court.
"It's not ever going to go away until I'm done playing," she said. "I'm just hoping it's not going to go far beyond the most extreme pain that I've ever had. They're just a bunch of little stress factures. So I'm just doing the best I can. I'll just be a soldier."