By Al Muskewitz
— Brittney Whitten made Ohio Valley Conference history Monday, and it
caught her completely by surprise.
State junior had an extraordinary weekend, and Monday was rewarded for
it by becoming only the second player in OVC history to win the league's
volleyball offensive and defensive player of the week awards in the same
"I was very, very
surprised when Coach (Rick Nold) told me," Whitten said. "I haven't been
able to get the Internet to work, so I haven't seen it in
black-and-white. It's very humbling."
outside hitter who was the 2006 OVC Freshman of the Year, joined Eastern
Illinois' Erica Gerth (Sept. 27, 2004) as the only players in league
history to earn both honors the same week. She averaged 4.67 kills per
game and 5.44 digs per game as the Gamecocks split their OVC-opening
weekend with Tennessee State and Austin Peay.
"I've never gotten
one before ever, so it's kind of shocking," she said. "I'm not really
sure how to react. I've never gotten an offensive or defensive (award)
before; now, to have both it really is a blessing. I don't think I
cherish one more than the other. I'm just glad I got them both."
Whitten had 18
kills, two blocks and a career-high 28 digs in the Gamecocks'
come-from-behind win over Tennessee State, a match in which the
Gamecocks staved off five match points in the fourth game.
The next day
against Peay, she had 21 digs and a career-high 24 kills. It was the
second time in her career she had 20 or more kills and 20 or more digs
in a match. She hit .364 in the match, taking over the team lead and
moving into third in the OVC in kills in the process.
"Right now we are
relying a lot on Brittney," Nold said. "We were able to give her a lot
of opportunities, and she was able to step up and turn them into a great
complete a five-game homestand this week with a match against Tennessee
Tech today and SEMO and EIU on the weekend.
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