Volleyball's Durket Named WCC Player of the Week
Santa Clara, Calif. - Kaleigh Durket, a sophomore transfer from Colgate who was named to the Fresno State Classic All-Tournament team after helping her team to a 2-1 record by posting back-to-back matches with 20+ kills in the Broncos' last two matches, was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week Monday. Durket is pictured to the right, second from the right.
This week Santa Clara plays at Sac State on Wed., Sept. 1 before playing in Stockton vs. Idaho on Thurs., Sept. 2 and then host-Pacific on Sat., Sept. 4.
Durket posted 20 kills and a .655 clip against Fresno State and followed that performance later in the day with 21 kills and a .472 attack percentage against UC Riverside. She also put together 26 digs on the weekend.
"It's been a good learning process for Kaleigh," said Bronco head coach Jon Wallace. "When you play in practice, you kind of figure out a little bit of the system. Last weekend when Kaleigh picked up her play and was very successful in the matches, we found a nice go-to player in her and Dana Knudsen. Her improvement and confidence really came out more in play during the matches than practice. It didn't come out in practice; she was being nice. But in match play, she went after it. Kaleigh gave us a tremendous boost offensively."
"By not having all of our attackers ready to go, for Dana Knudsen and Kaleigh to be able to get us through the weekend, was huge. She was a great point scorer for us all day on Saturday," added Wallace.
Durket currently leads the WCC in hitting at .482 and is second in the WCC with 3.92 kpg. She is also averaging 2.17 dpg and .25 sapg.
"I am really surprised to win this honor this week because it was my first time ever playing in this new conference. The play is very competitive and it's quite an honor," said Durket, a native of El Dorado Hills, Calif. "Friday was our first match and we were still figuring things out when we played Oregon. The flow wasn't there as much on Friday as it was on Saturday. Emily Burke did a great job of getting me the ball. The blockers couldn't read her so they couldn't get me. In the future, I hope they will be looking out for me because that frees up the rest of the hitters. Hopefully that will happen."
Durket was set by senior captain Emily Burke, who is working with Durket in her first season at Santa Clara. Burke leads the WCC in service aces with .58 sapg and is second with 10.83 apg as well.
"I think after we played Oregon, we all decided we needed to settle down, play the game in our system and trust it," said Burke. "Playing in the system, it works to set Kaleigh. She was excited and wanted the ball. She has done a lot of work and is a great volleyball player. I was expecting her to do well and she did. With a few injuries and to help lessen the blow for Kayla Lommori, Kaleigh worked hard all day on Saturday. Every time she got a kill, she'd look at me with a lot of confidence and say 'Set me again'."
"Kaleigh being named player of the week gives me a lot of confidence because her playing well will make our team successful," added Burke. "When I have all my hitters say 'set me', I need to get my feet to the ball, set it and they take over from there."
Also Nominated for the WCC Player of the Week: Allyson Powell, GON; Amy DeGroot, USD; Jasmine Rankins, LMU; Kim Hill, PEP; Shannon Lowell, SMC