Candace Parker SEC player of week

Tennessee junior hoopster Candace Parker was tabbed the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday by the league office. Parker led the top-rated Lady Vols to victories over No. 8 Oklahoma and No. 21 Texas to keep her team undefeated on the season.

The Naperville, Ill., native averaged 24.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per contest in the games against Big 12 foes.

Candace Parker registered 28 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks against Oklahoma on Nov. 15. In the Texas game on Sunday, the multidimensional player scored the first 11 points of the game for Tennessee after she and her 2006-07 teammates raised the 2007 NCAA championship banner to the rafters in Thompson-Boling Arena prior to tipoff.

This marks the sixth time Parker has earned SEC Player of the Week honors and the 10th time overall that she has garnered a weekly award from the SEC. She picked up SEC Freshman of the Week on four occasions during her rookie campaign in 2005-06.

Parker has averaged 24.0 points and 9.3 rebounds per game this season while leading the Lady Vols to a perfect 3-0 record. UT travels to Charleston for a 7 p.m. game Wednesday against the West Virginia Mountaineers.

LADY VOL VOLLEYBALL: For the second consecutive week and third time this season, Tennessee freshman Nikki Fowler has been named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week, the league office announced Monday.

Fowler led the team with 39 kills in a pair of matches last week, including 22 putaways in a four-game victory over Arkansas on Friday.

The Lady Vol rookie recorded the 10th and 11th double-doubles of her young career last week, posting 17 kills and 12 digs against Kentucky and 22 kills and 15 digs versus the Lady'Backs. In the triumph over Arkansas, Fowler notched nine kills and seven digs in the match-clinching fourth game alone, while hitting at a .276 clip for the match with just six errors in 58 swings. She also added two assists and five blocks in the win.

The native of Dallas, Texas, finished the week as the team's top performer in kills (39), kills per game (4.88), attacks (109), points (43.0) and points per game (5.38). Fowler was also third on the squad with 27 digs, 3.38 digs per game, eight blocks and 1.00 blocks per game over the two matches.

She has now led the team in kills in eight consecutive matches and 12 of 20 league matchups. Fowler concluded the SEC season with an average of 3.64 kills per game, 2.59 digs per game, 0.86 blocks per game, 0.77 assists per game and 0.21 aces per game.

A candidate for SEC Freshman of the Year, Fowler has played a critical role in a number of areas for the Lady Vols during her rookie campaign, as she leads the Big Orange with 354 kills, 1,044 total attacks, 3.25 kills per game, 432.5 points and 3.97 points per game. She also stands second on the squad with 26 aces and 97 blocks, third on the team with 87 assists and 0.89 blocks per game and fourth with 274 digs and 2.51 digs per game.

The Big Orange will next be in action when it closes out the 2007 campaign at home against Notre Dame on Friday, Nov. 23. First serve for the contest against the Fighting Irish is set for 7 p.m. in Stokely Athletics Center.

LADY VOL SOCCER: Tennessee soccer's new all-time leading goal scorer, Kylee Rossi, was named Lady Vol Athlete of the Week following her two-goal, one-assist performance in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament last weekend.

The forward earned the award for the third time this season after breaking four UT records and helping the Orange and White advance to their fifth NCAA Sweet 16 in program history.

Rossi scored her record-tying 29th goal of her career and 11th goal of the season on Nov. 16 in UT's 2-0 first-round victory over Furman. The Pennington, N.J., native notched Tennessee's second score of the match and assisted on the game-winner from sophomore midfielder Mick Imgram.

The junior made program history in Sunday's 1-0 double overtime win over Clemson. Her goal in the 104th minute marked the 30th of her career, pushing her past former Lady Vol Laura Lauter Smith (1997-2000) in the UT record book. The goal came after junior keeper Jaimel Johnson made a save and distributed the ball to Imgram. She found Rossi in the box, where she settled the ball, and blasted a shot into the upper left corner of the net.

The "golden goal" was Rossi's second this season following her overtime game-winner versus South Carolina on Sept. 27. The score was the fourth game-winner in extra time of Rossi's career, moving her past Keeley Dowling (2001-04) and Rhian Wilkinson (2000-03) on that career chart. Rossi also jumped to the top of the career game-winners list with the 12th of her career, surpassing Kayla Lockaby's (2001-04) previous record.

At the start of the 2007 campaign, Rossi was not even listed in the top 10 in career shots. Her 90 strikes this season, however, have changed that chart as well. With the game-winner against Clemson, Rossi became the most prolific shooter in Lady Vol history, notching her 241st shot and knocking Lyndsey Patterson (2001-04) out of the top spot.

Rossi is one of two women's soccer players to earn the Lady Vol Athlete of the Week award this year, joining freshman forward Devon Swaim. This week, Rossi beat out competition from Lady Vol basketball's Shannon Bobbitt, volleyball's Nikki Fowler and swimming's Carly Mathes to snag the award.

The soccer team will head to the University of Portland for the third round of the NCAA Tournament this weekend. The Lady Vols will face the Pilots on Saturday, Nov. 24, at 7 p.m. PT at Merlo Field.

Tennessee will be playing in its fifth NCAA "Sweet 16" in program history. The Orange and White have never advanced past the third round of NCAA postseason play.

The Pilots are the No. 2 seed in UT's section of the bracket and enter the match with a 17-3-0 record after topping Denver and Colorado in the opening rounds.

Portland was ranked third in the final regular season National Soccer Coaches Association/adidas poll and has won two of the last five national championships in 2002 and 2005.

The two teams have met just once before on Sept. 7, 1998, when the seventh-ranked Pilots posted a 5-0 win at Merlo Field. Tennessee will be looking for its first win in program history over a team from the West Coast Conference after compiling an 0-3-1 record all-time.


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