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LMU's Hughes Named National Player of the Week

Sept. 4, 2007

LOS ANGELES - The honors continued for Loyola Marymount volleyball's Heather Hughes, as the senior was named Collegiate Volleyball Update's National Player of the Week Tuesday. CVU.com honored Hughes for tallying 7.80 kills per game while hitting .405 over the Lions' (3-3) three matches last weekend.

The selection marks the first such honor for a Lion since Olympian Sarah Noriega (1994-97) was awarded the national player of the week distinction in 1997.

"What is really amazing about what Heather accomplished last week is her attack percentage," LMU Head Coach Steve Stratos said. "She hit over .400 hitting one third of her attacks out of the back row, and often it was in broken play situations where she was seeing two or maybe three blockers. The other aspect that made it so amazing is that she is also a primary passer in all rotations. So opponents would try to slow her by serving her each time, but it didn't work last weekend."

Hughes earned the title of West Coast Conference Player of the Week Monday after going on a tear in the Lions' three weekend matches.

Hughes led the Lions to a 2-1 run in the tournament, featuring 3-0 wins over UC Santa Barbara and Northwestern. LMU was named tournament runner-up after dropping a tough four-game match to UNLV.

Over the Lions' 10 games played, Hughes had 78 kills, averaging 7.80 kills per game while hitting .405 on the weekend. She added 46 digs, 12 assists, eight blocks, and two service aces.

In the tournament title match against the Rebels, Hughes tallied a statistical triple-double with a career-high 31 kills, along with 10 assists, and 15 digs. For the second straight weekend, she earned an all-tournament selection.

"There are so many parts to Heather's game," Stratos said. "She is a primary passer, but also has great hands so she will step in and set in broken plays. She has become a better blocker, and she has been one of our team's top servers each of her three seasons. Heather is our team captain and hardest-worker every practice. She is one of the very top all-around volleyball players this school has ever seen."

The WCC Player of the Week selection was the first of the young 2007 season for the Lions, and the fourth career selection for the senior Hughes. The Fallbrook, Calif., native is a three-time All-WCC honoree.

Hughes and the Lions return to action tonight at 7:00 p.m. when they travel across town to face undefeated UC Irvine (6-0) at Crawford Court. Follow the action at LMULions.com, both on Gametracker and the Lions' Audio Network.