Billings named SEC player of the week


BIRMINGHAM –  Junior Whitney Billings has been named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week it was announced Monday afternoon. The honor is the first of Billings’ career, she had previously earned SEC Defensive and Freshman of the Week honors in the last two seasons.

Billings is the third Wildcat player to earn a weekly award this season. Junior Alexandra Morgan (defensive honor) and freshman Morgan Bergren (freshman honor) have also been honored in 2012.

The Helena, Ala., native and Pelham High School graduate has guided the Wildcats to a season-long winning streak of three matches including an upset of No. 25 Tennessee this week and a four-set win over Auburn on Sunday. With the win over the Lady Vols, UK has now won two of the last three meetings while stretching its winning-streak over the Tigers to four matches.

Billings simply has been superb leading UK in kills (4.14) and digs (4.43) this week with a pair of double-double efforts. She had 10 kills and 16 digs vs. Tennessee, and then totaled 19 kills and 15 digs in the win over Auburn. She has now charted three-straight double-double efforts for just the second time in her career (and second this season). The 19-kills vs. Auburn was a career-high for a four-set match, as well as a season-high. The 16 scoops vs. the Lady Vols matched a season-high. The 10-kill performance with zero errors marked the first double-figure kill effort without committing an error in her career.

For the week, she ranked in UK’s top-two performances in every statistical category including kills (first), assists (second), aces (second), digs (first), blocks (second) and points (first). During conference action she is the only player who leads her team in scoring to rank in the top-20 statistically of conference leaders in four or more categories: kills (17th), aces (1st), blocks (15th) and digs (20th).