DAVIS, Calif. - Senior outside hitter Allison Whitson turned an outstanding effort at the Fresno State Classic Tournament into the UC Davis women's volleyball team's first Big West Conference Player of the Week award of the year after leading UC Davis in kills, attacks and hitting average through three games over the weekend in Fresno.
It is the second career Player of the Week honor for Whitson, who currently ranks third on UC Davis' all-time career kills leaderboard with 1,295. With 55 over the weekend, she needs just 42 more to catch Kelly Gaudino (1,337 from 2000-03) for second.
The 6-foot-1 Whitson was selected tournament MVP, averaging 4.58 kills and 3.42 digs per game to go with a .265 hitting percentage in three matches. She also recorded six total blocks to lead UC Davis to a 2-1 tournament record.
Against Utah Valley on Friday, Whitson tallied a career-high 24 kills, nine of which came in the third set, and 17 digs to push the Aggies past the Wolverines for a five-set victory. In Saturday's first game, the Palo Alto native posted her highest hitting average of the weekend with a .429 clip in UC Davis' straight set loss to Fresno State. She record 17 kills on 35 attempts to go with nine digs against the Bulldogs.
In the tournament finale, Whitson's second double-double of the weekend sparked UC Davis' comeback over Sacramento State as the Aggies would go on to claim the match in four sets from the Hornets. The Hornets took set one by a score of 25-19 after jumping out to a 9-4 lead, then using a 4-0 run to pad their lead. Whitson and the Aggies dominated the second set, however, after Whitson had five kills in seven errorless swings and five digs en route to an easy 25-13 win. The Aggies took the third set by a narrow 25-23 margin, then Whitson's eight digs in the fourth and final set helped UC Davis to a 25-20 win.
UC Davis now stands at 4-5 on the year and hosts San Francisco in a rare midweek matchup on Tuesday at The Pavilion at 7 p.m. After facing off against the Dons, the Aggies will travel to their fourth, and final, tournament of the season in the Butler Invitational, held in the legendary Hinkle Fieldhouse Sept. 14-15.