Two volleyball players honored

Tennessee junior outside hitter Milan Clarke and sophomore middle blocker Leah Hinkey have picked up a pair of weekly honors for their stellar performances at the American Volleyball Coaches Association Showcase at the Qwest Center in Nebraska this past weekend. Clarke has been named Lady Vol Athlete of the Week, while Hinkey was tabbed the SEC Defensive Player of the Week.

A native of Santa Monica, Calif., Clarke was named to the AVCA Showcase All-Tournament team after tallying a team-best 24 kills and 69 attacks in matches against top-ranked Nebraska and No. 21 Utah.

Following an eight-kill performance versus the Huskers, Clarke tied her career high with 16 putaways in UT's dramatic, come-from-behind victory over the Utes. She also added a personal-best six blocks, in addition to six digs and 42 attacks in the triumph. For the weekend, Clarke finished fourth on the team in both digs (9) and blocks (6).

"We have been really happy with the progress Milan has made so far this year," UT head coach Rob Patrick said. "She has done a terrific job becoming more physical and learning how to play fearlessly on the court, which has allowed her to be more successful as she demonstrated this weekend."

Hinkey was as equally impressive on the defensive end as Clarke was on the offensive side of the net. A Glenwood Springs, Colo., product, she collected 13 blocks in Tennessee's win over Utah, marking the fourth-highest single-match total in school history, as well as a career high.

Over the team's two contests, Hinkey led the Lady Vols with a squad-best 1.62 blocks per game average while recording 13 kills and 1.62 kills per frame, the third highest totals on the team. She also set another career high with six digs to help UT defeat the Utes.

"Leah has been working extremely hard on her blocking technique," Patrick said. "It is safe to say that her hard work and attention to detail paid dividends this weekend. She also played a huge leadership role in our win over (No. 21) Utah by rallying the team around her after we started very slow."

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