Oct. 17, 2011
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Senior Lainey Gera was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 6.43 digs per set in a pair of victories for the Bruins against the Oregon schools, including 28 versus the 16th-ranked Ducks on Saturday.
Gera leads the Bruins with 4.97 digs per set and surpassed the 1,700-career digs mark. With 45 on the weekend, the senior, who is second on UCLA's all-time list, has 1,717 for her career.
Gera opened the week with 17 digs, five assists and an ace against Oregon State on Friday. She posted nine digs in the opening set, adding five in the second and three with an ace in the third.
But on Saturday against Oregon, Gera had an unbelievable final three sets to help the Bruins to a victory. With the Ducks going away from her, and Gera posting as many digs (1) as kills after she dug an over pass that landed untouched on the other side of the net, the senior produced 27 digs in the last three stanzas. She had nine in the second, eight in the third and 10 in the fourth.
This season marks the first in which the conference has awarded Offensive, Defensive and Freshman Player of the Week accolades. It is the second weekly honor for Gera, who was named Pac-10 POW last Nov. 15.
The Bruins have earned four weekly awards this season. Sophomore Kelly Reeves and freshman Zoë Nightingale were named Defensive and Freshman Players of the Week, respectively, on Sept. 26, while junior Rachael Kidder received Offensive POW accolades on Sept. 5. UCLA now has 59 all-time weekly conference recognitions. The Bruins were also the first team this season to earn all three awards.