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CVU.com National Player of the Week (Nov. 20): Gwen Rucker, Louisville


The Collegiate Volleyball Update (CVU.com) is pleased to announce that Louisville senior Gwen Rucker has been selected as the CVU.com National Player of the Week for Nov. 12 through Nov. 18.

Collegiate Volleyball Update Player of the Week Logo

A 6-2 middle blocker from Lexington, Ky., Rucker came through with three matches of stellar play to help Louisville become the first team since 2007 to win both the BIG EAST regular season title and the conference tournament championship.

To open the tournament, the senior posted a BIG EAST record hitting percentage, drilling 13 kills on only 15 swings without an error to hit .867. That was complemented by a big defensive outing as Rucker just missed a double-double with nine blocks in the sweep of St. John's.

In the next round versus Cincinnati, the middle again missed converting on just two swings, knocked down 15 kills on 17 attempts to hit .765 for the match. That went with three more blocks as the Cardinals picked up another sweep.

Finally, in the title tilt versus Marquette, Rucker again was solid all around and the result was the same: another sweep. The senior picked up 10 more kills on .400 hitting, chipping in defensively with six digs and five blocks en route to tournament MVP honors.

For the nine sets of the championship, Rucker committed only two errors, averaging 4.22 kills and 1.89 blocks per set all while hitting a scorching .654. The middle is the second Louisville player to receive the CVU.com Weekly Honor. The other was Lena Ustymenko in 2005.

In addition to the Player of the Week, CVU.com will be announcing selections for the Top Performers from the past week. These selections will include the Player of the Week and up to 10 others. Choices will consist of players who were finalists for the weekly honor and others who had exceptional individual matches. The additional selections will be based on nominations and CVU.com staff criteria.

Top Performers

  • McKenzie Adams, UTSA, Junior, Outside hitter, 6-3
  • Paige Penrod, Bowling Green, Junior, Outside hitter, 5-9
  • Saitaua Iosia, UMES, Sophomore, Outside hitter, 5-10
  • Tyler Henderson, Tulsa, Senior, Outside hitter, 5-11
  • Kelsie Wills, Hofstra, Sophomore, Outside hitter, 6-1
  • Gwen Rucker, Louisville, Senior, Middle blocker, 6-2
  • Megan Steenhuysen, IPFW, Senior, Setter, 5-9
  • Jade Craycraft, Liberty, Junior, Setter, 5-11
  • Kate Elman, Creighton, Freshman, Libero, 5-5
  • Kristen Hahn, Iowa State, Junior, Libero, 5-6
  • Hannah Miranda, Belmont, Junior, Setter, 5-8

Editor's Note: This is the thirteenth in a series of Player-of-the-Week selections that will be made through the remainder of the season and announced on Tuesday or Wednesday of each week.

College and conference SIDs are welcome to make Player-of-the-Week nominations. Nominations are due every Monday by 1 p.m. Pacific time.

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