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Virginia’s Kole rakes in second Freshman of the Week award
GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Florida State sophomore outside hitter Nicole Walch was named the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Volleyball Player of the Week – her second weekly award of the season – for her performance in two crucial matches in the closing weeks of the regular season. Virginia freshman Haley Kole was tabbed Freshman of the Week for the second time this season, as the she led the Cavaliers to a perfect 2-0 record last weekend.
In need of two critical wins to stay in the hunt for the ACC regular-season crown, the Seminoles ran off straight-set victories against Wake Forest and Duke, thanks to the efforts of Walch. Against the No. 13 Blue Devils, the Stuart, Fla., native contributed 11 kills and had a hitting percentage of .476. Walch fueled a stretch that saw the ‘Noles go on a 26-7 run over the second and third sets to sweep the Blue Devils. By taking down Duke, Florida State recorded its fifth win over a Top 25 opponent this season. In the victory over the Deamon Deacons, Walch posted 15 kills, eight digs and four blocks. The victories extended the Seminoles’ ACC home winning streak to 26 matches. Walch was last named Player of the Week on Nov. 4.
Kole helped lead the Cavaliers to a sweep of Notre Dame and a 3-1 defeat of in-state rival Virginia Tech. Kole averaged 3.00 kills per set, 0.71 digs per set and 0.71 blocks per set. Against the Irish, the Tallahassee, Fla., native hit .304 with 10 kills, while against the Hokies, Kole added 11 kills and five blocks. Kole’s previous Freshman of the Week award came on Sept. 9.