Sports Imports/AVCA Division I-II Men's National Player of the Week
April 9, 2013
Kyle Russell - UC Irvine
Redshirt Freshman, Outside Hitter, 6-9 (Loomis, Calif. - Del Oro High School)
Photo courtesy UCI Athletics
Kyle Russell, a 6-9 redshirt freshman outside hitter for No. 4 UC Irvine, has been named the Sports Imports/AVCA Men's Division I-II National Player of the Week. He helped lead his team to a pair of MPSF home victories over No. 8 Stanford and Pacific as they locked up a quarterfinal home court appearance in the conference tournament. Russell displayed incredible offensive firepower against the Cardinal, nailing a match and career-high 14 kills with just one error on 17 attempts to finish the match with a .765 hitting percentage. Defensively, he also added another four digs and three blocks. The California native once again had a terrific outing the following day, this time against the Tigers, recording 10 kills, five digs and two aces with a hitting percentage of .467. Entering the week, Russell had only played 10 career sets and 13 kills, this week averaging well above his previous averages of 2.31 kills (4.0) and 0.94 (1.50) digs per set. This is the 22nd time an athlete from UC Irvine has taken home Sports Imports/AVCA Player of the Week honors, with the most recent coming from Jeremy Dejno after he won it on January 8th earlier this year. The Anteaters are coached by David Kniffin.