NWC Bestows Weekly VB Award on Davis

News Release Date:
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Sophomore Jillian Davis, after averaging 4.1 kills and 2.2 digs in two matches last weekend, has been named Northwest Conference Student Athlete of the Week for women's volleyball.

Jillian Davis

Slowed (and sidelined at times) by injury this fall, Davis had two of her best matches of the season last weekend, showing flashes of play that made her the NCAA DIII West Region Freshman of the Year in 2010.

"Jillian has shown some incredible determination in recovering from an early season injury," Whitman coach Carolyn Papineau says. "She is starting to find her rhythm again both offensively and defensively.

"She has really shown some heart in responding to the challenges she has faced this year."

Davis, a 5-foot-9 outside hitter, slugged a match-high 16 kills while hitting .333 to spark Whitman to a four-set victory over Willamette last Friday in Sherwood Center.

She also contributed 13 digs, two service aces and three block assists to the triumph, which snapped a long losing skid for the Missionaries.

After Willamette rallied to win the third set, cutting its match deficit to 2-1, Davis knocked down five kills and served one of her aces in fourth set to help Whitman wrap up the victory.

Jillian Davis, ready to strike

Davis then drilled a season-high 21 kills as Whitman dropped a five-set battle to Linfield on Saturday. She added seven digs along with two more aces and three more block assists.

Linfield grabbed command early in that match, winning the first two sets. Davis ripped six kills in both the third and fourth sets to help the Missionaries rally and force a decisive fifth set.

Davis missed five matches earlier in the season and has played limited minutes in a number of other cases. She still leads Whitman in kills, averaging 2.50 per set on the season and 2.76 against conference foes.

A year ago, Davis was the only first-year player named to the All-NWC First Team.

She finished last season with 378 total kills, which led the NWC by a wide margin, and she was eighth in digs, averaging 3.67 per game.

"Jillian's big challenge this year has been taking her dynamic style of play to the next level; taking big swings when the opportunity presents itself, but staying more consistent throughout the duration of the match," Papineau says.

"Her performance last weekend was the result of that focus -- hitting at a high efficiency, making fewer errors."

Davis and her teammates are in Tacoma, Wash., this weekend, playing matches against Pacific Lutheran and Puget Sound.

The Missionaries then finish the season at home, hosting Whitworth on Wednesday, Nov. 2, and Lewis & Clark on Saturday, Nov. 5.

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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; holden@whitman.edu