Oct. 31, 2011
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Senior Lainey Gera and junior Rachael Kidder have earned their second Pac-12 Player of the Week awards of the season, receiving Defensive and Offensive honors, respectively, as announced on Monday.
This season marks the first in which the conference has awarded Offensive, Defensive and Freshman Player of the Week accolades. It is the third weekly honor for Gera, who was named Pac-10 POW last Nov. 15, and the second career accolade for Kidder.
Gera posted 15 digs and two aces on Friday at California and 18 digs and two aces on Saturday at Stanford, as the Bruins completed a season sweep of the Bay Area teams for the first time since 2000.
Gera averaged 4.71 digs per set on the weekend. She leads the Bruins this year with 4.86 dps and has 1,750 for her career.
Against California on Friday, Gera had only five digs in the first two sets, but had five digs and an ace in both the third and fourth stanzas.
At Stanford on Saturday, Gera never had less than five digs in any of the sets, producing five with an ace in the first, eight with an ace in the second and five in the third.
Kidder recorded 22 kills at California on Friday and 16 at Stanford on Saturday.
Kidder, who averaged 5.43 kills per set, also had 1.57 digs per set with seven against California and four versus Stanford. She added two block solos and an ace on the weekend.
On Friday in Berkeley, Kidder led the Bruins in kills in each of the first three sets. She had eight of the team's 18 kills in the opener, adding five in set two, six in the third and three in the fourth.
On Saturday in Palo Alto, Kidder paced UCLA in kills in all three sets with four in the first, eight in the second and four in the third.
Kidder leads the Bruins in kills (4.54) and points (5.09) per set.
The Bruins have earned six weekly awards this season, the second most and one behind California's seven. Gera received her first Defensive POW honor of the season on Oct. 17. Sophomore Kelly Reeves and freshman Zoë Nightingale were named Defensive and Freshman Players of the Week, respectively, on Sept. 26, while Kidder received Offensive POW accolades on Sept. 5. UCLA now has 61 all-time weekly conference recognitions. The Bruins were also the first team this season to earn all three awards.
The Bruins have moved up to #1 in this week's AVCA Coaches poll, the first time they have been the nation's top-ranked team since the 2000 preseason rankings.
UCLA hosts #10 Washington on Friday at 7 p.m. and Washington State on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the John Wooden Center.