CHARLOTTE, N.C. (www.BigSouthSports.com) - Liberty middle blocker Loren Thomas (Ocoee, Fla.) has been named the Choice Hotels Big South Volleyball Player of the Week, while Winthrop middle blocker Amy Zimmer (Port Huron, MI) was tabbed Freshman of the Week for matches played Aug. 27 through Sept. 2. In addition, Liberty libero Gabrielle Shipe (Orlando, Fla.) picked up Defensive Player of the Week honors.
Thomas led Liberty to a 4-0 week as she tallied 42 kills, a .316 hitting average, and 23 blocks while in extending the Flame's win streak to six. In Liberty's Tuesday match against William & Mary, she posted nine blocks. Over the weekend she helped the Flames to the team title at the Holiday Inn Select/UCF Classic. Thomas was named tournament MVP. During the tournament, she averaged 2.57 kills per set, hitting double-figure kills in each match. In Friday's match versus Jacksonville, she recorded a season-high 14 kills and a .417 hitting average to help Liberty's come-from-behind victory. Thomas then posted 12 kills and five blocks in the 3-1 win over Columbia and ended the championship match totaling six blocks and 10 kills against host University of Central Florida.
Zimmer had an outstanding performance for Winthrop last week. She posted 26 kills and hit a 1.73 average. Zimmer had seven kills against Appalachian State (.312), eight against Davidson (.571), six against UNC Wilmington (.455) and five against Wake Forest (.250). She contributed defensively with 22 blocks (1.57 blocking average).
Shipe anchored Liberty's back row, aiding the Lady Flames to a 4-0 week that included a home-opening win over William & Mary and three wins at the Holiday Inn Select/UCF Classic. She averaged 3.94 digs per set for the week. In Tuesday's match against William & Mary, Shipe had a career-high 22 digs, an average of 5.5 digs per set. Over the tournament weekend, she led the team in digs as she posted a total of 35 digs on Friday and collected 17 digs in the championship win over UCF.
Also nominated for volleyball Player of the Week for Week 1: Heather Wilson (Campbell), Sydney Tracey (Charleston Southern), Kristin Heldt (High Point) and Emma Deininger (Radford).
Also nominated for volleyball Freshman of the Week for Week 1: Sam Zuber (Campbell) and Caroline Douglas (Liberty).
Also nominated for volleyball Defensive Player of the Week for Week 1: Mallorie Cubillos (Campbell), Erin Lavenice (Charleston Southern), Molly Barlow (High Point) and Emily Carlin (Radford).
2012 Players of the Week
Aug. 27 - Stephanie Palmer, Winthrop
Sept. 4 - Loren Thomas, Liberty
2012 Defensive Players of the Week
Aug. 27 - Lindsey Coats, Campbell
Sept. 4 - Gabrielle Shipe, Liberty
2012 Freshmen of the Week
Aug. 27 - Caroline Douglas, Liberty
Sept. 4 - Amy Zimmer, Winthrop