For the first time since 2002, South Carolina volleyball had an individual recognized as the SEC Player of the Week, as junior Mikayla Robinson earned both the overall Player of the Week, and the Defensive Player of the Week awards Monday afternoon. Robinson had an epic weekend of production as a blocker, totaling 23 blocks in eight sets in road wins at Georgia and at Auburn.
It is the second time the West Dundee, Ill. native has been honored by the conference office, and fourth overall for her career. Only Juliette Thévenin (2010-13) has as many conference awards in a career. The last member of the program to earn Player of the Week was Sam Alban on Oct. 15, 2002.
Friday night in Athens, Robinson racked up 14 total blocks (five solo) in the team's five-set upset of the Bulldogs on the road, the most by any SEC student-athlete this season and ties her for the third-highest single-game total in conference history. It is the second-highest total by any member of the program in its 48-year history, and most since Libby Ralston set the program record with 16 against Jacksonville on Sept. 6, 1991. Robinson now has two matches this season with double-digit blocks. Her seven blocks in the third set alone would have led the team in all but three matches for the year, and her five solo blocks are the second-most in a match in program history and most by any Gamecock since Teresa Stenlund against Lipscomb on Sept. 11, 2010.
Behind Robinson's big night, the team totaled 18 blocks against Georgia, the third time this season reaching that total. It's the fourth highest total for a match of any length in program history. She stayed locked in for the team's road finale on Sunday, blocking nine balls in the team's sweep at Auburn (two solo). Robinson accounted for 23 of the team's 34 total blocks for the weekend, pushing the team. Despite playing the second-lowest set total among SEC rivals in conference play (54 sets), Robinson now has 12 more blocks in conference matches than any other individual. Her 90 blocks in SEC matches alone is just nine fewer than what she had all of last season (in 112 sets). South Carolina has the highest block total in the SEC, currently with 251, and is 36th in the country with a 2.54 blocks per set average.
Coupled with Robinson's Offensive Player of the Week, McKenzie Moorman's Freshman of the Week on Oct. 28, and Claire Edwards' Defensive Player of the Week recognition on Sept. 9, South Carolina has a single-season record for most weekly awards earned in a single season.
The Gamecocks (18-10, 10-6 SEC) wrap up the 2019 regular season at home this week with two matches. Carolina hosts Texas A&M at 7 p.m. Wednesday night, then return to action on Black Friday with a 7 p.m. match against Arkansas. The finale against the Razorbacks will also be senior night for Carolina's six seniors.