EUGENE – The honors continued to pile up Tuesday for University of Oregon redshirt sophomore outside hitter Alaina Bergsma who received the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) National Player of the Week Award.
Last weekend, the Chandler, Ariz., native helped No. 15 Oregon (14-0, 2-0) move atop the Pac-10, after a sweep of returning NCAA qualifier Washington State (6-6, 0-2) and a 3-1 victory over then-No. 7 Washington (12-1, 1-1) that was its first in Eugene in 10 years and ended the unbeaten Huskies’ 36-set season win streak.
She connected on season highs in kills (21), points (23) and hitting (.559); her kill tally was a team season high; and her hitting mark (.559) was third-best for UO in ‘10 and tops among efforts of 15 kills or more.
Coming into Saturday’s match, only one opposing hitter has posted +10 kills against UW this year – Eastern Illinois’ Kelsey Orr the week before (11K, .222) – and Bergsma nearly doubled that total. She also led UO in blocks (4) and points (23) for the first time in ‘10, and the latter tally was a team best in a non-five-set contest.
Thanks largely to Bergsma’s hitting total, Oregon hit .275 as a team and nearly quadrupled UW’s opponent season hitting average (.074) that led the Pac-10 last week.
The night before vs. the Cougars, she again led the team in kills (12) – her first honor of the season. She hit .417 – one of four +.400 hitting totals on the campaign (and eight +.300).
Just as impressive is a comparison of her weekend averages (vs. her prior season marks in ( )): kills 4.71 (2.79), hitting .500 (.299), points 5.07 (2.96), blocks 0.71 (0.29) and digs 0.43 (0.38).
Bergsma became the third Duck outside hitter to claim national AVCA POW honors the last four seasons.
All-American Sonja Newcombe picked up similar honors in 2009 after the team’s wins against then-No. 5 Stanford and then-No. 14 California in Eugene, and in ’08 after home victories vs. then-No. 4 USC and then-No. 5 UCLA. All-American Gorana Maricic was likewise tabbed in ’07 after wins vs. then-No. 6 USC and then-No. 9 UCLA at Mac Court.
Earlier this week, Bergsma picked up Oregon’s 16th Pac-10 Player of the Week in school history, and the seventh honor in the tenure of sixth-year head coach Jim Moore.
Looking ahead to this weekend, UO heads to the Bay Area to face another pair of unbeaten league foes - No. 8 California (12-0, 2-0) and No. 1 Stanford (11-0, 2-0) on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 1-2, with both matches starting at 7 p.m.
Three weeks ago, the Cardinal ended former No.1 Penn State’s 109-match win streak, and the Bears were the farthest NCAA tourney advancer in ’09, losing in the regional final to the eventual national champion Nittany Lions.
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