October 26, 2009

Hamilton Rides NCAA-Record Performance to Big Sky Honors

Senior named Big Sky Player of the Week for the second time this season after outstanding week of play

After having one of the best performances in NCAA history on Friday (Oct. 23) and then following that up by playing at a top level the following evening, Ashley Hamilton of the Eastern Washington University volleyball team was named the Big Sky Conference Player of the Week.

Against Weber State on Friday, a 3-0 EWU win, Hamilton had kills on all 12 of her attacks to tie the NCAA Division I record for hitting percentage (minimum 10 attacks) at a perfect 1.000 (12-0-12). That average also broke the Big Sky Conference and Eastern Washington school records.

The former league record (minimum three attacks per set) was .917 (11-0-12). Sacramento State's Tasman Dwyer recorded that average against Portland State in a 3-0 win on Oct. 28, 1999, while Idaho's Brittany Van Haverbeke did so in a 3-0 sweep of Gonzaga on Nov. 8, 1994.

The school record entering last week (minimum eight attacks) was .900 (9-0-10). That was set on Sept. 18, 2000, by Janelle Ruen, when she helped the Eagles to a 3-0 win over Texas-Pan American that day.

Hamilton also helped set the team as a whole to a .569 hitting percentage against the Wildcats on Friday (47-8-80), Eastern's best since hitting .569 (45-8-65) in a 3-0 defeat of St. Francis (N.Y.) on Sept. 1, 2006. The senior also had 32 assists, six digs and four blocks that evening.

Against Idaho State on Saturday (Oct. 24), another 3-0 win for the Eagles, Hamilton once again played at a top level, hitting .444 herself (4-0-9) and helping the team to a .299 hitting percentage (44-12-107). The Alpine, Utah, native also had 34 assists, six digs and four blocks in that match.

For the week, Hamilton hit at an incredible .762 clip (16-0-21) and averaged 11.00 assists, 1.50 digs and 1.17 blocks per set.

She moved her kill streak to 15 early Saturday before that incredible streak, dating to a 3-1 win over Northern Colorado on Oct. 17, was snapped. Hamilton did, however, finish the evening with 30 consecutive attacks without an error.

The award is her second of the season and fourth by an Eagle so far in 2009. Hamilton was previously honored on Sept. 28, while Lindsey Petroni earned accolades on Oct. 5, and Hayley Hills did so on Sept. 21.

Hamilton and the Eagles (14-7, 8-2 BSC) hit the road this weekend to play Montana State (3-15, 1-8 BSC) and Montana (9-11, 5-4 BSC) at 6 p.m. Pacific Time on Friday and Saturday (Oct. 30 and 31), respectively.

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