PROVIDENCE, R.I. – After a record-breaking weekend to close out the 2016 volleyball season, freshman libero Kaylie McHugh was recognized for her defensive prowess on the court for the first time in her collegiate career. McHugh earned American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors in the final week of the regular season, the conference announced Monday.
“We are all extremely proud of Kaylie,” head coach Jim Barnes said. “She not only had a school record in digs against USF on Friday, but she now leads the American in digs and digs per set. As a freshman, she was also one of our top leaders. She was one of the best freshmen in the nation, and we look forward to what she brings to the court next season.”
McHugh wrapped up the weekend with 58 digs through nine sets, averaging 6.44 digs per game. She set a career high with 37 digs in Friday’s season finale against USF, also breaking a single-match school record.
McHugh is the second Tulane player this year to receive Player of the Week honors, the first being junior right-side hitter Sarah Ray on September 12. The libero was also named to the weekly honor roll twice this season.
As a freshman, McHugh led the league in digs, with 435 in conference match-ups, recording over sixty more digs than the second-place finisher. She also placed first in digs per set, with 5.30.
McHugh finished her freshman campaign with a total of 594 digs, the second-highest single-season total in the record book. In addition, she was a driving force behind the team’s 2130 digs in the 2016 season, breaking a single-season record that had been in place since 2003.