Birmingham, AL - University of Georgia senior Valentina Gonzalez has been named the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Week according to an announcement made by the league on Monday.
Gonzalez, a middle hitter and native of Monterrey, Mexico, helped Georgia go 2-0 in a pair of SEC road contests this past weekend by providing a team-best 13 blocks, which raised her career block assist total to 417 and established a new UGA record in the category as it surpassed Lital Sisso's mark of 413. Gonzalez's performance also raised her career total blocks to 446, which ranks fourth all-time at Georgia and ranks ninth in the SEC under the rally scoring format (since 2001).
Additionally, in the two wins over Mississippi State and Alabama, Gonzalez combined for a team-best 28 kills on a .463 hitting percentage. On the year, Gonzalez has a .399 hitting percentage, and she will be vying to become only the second Bulldog to hit .400 or better in a single season (Alexandra Oquendo, .410, 2004) when Georgia concludes its 2010 season against Auburn on Wednesday in the Ramsey Student Center. Gonzalez has already virtually secured the second spot for career hitting percentage at Georgia as her four-year mark currently stands at .335, second only to Oquendo's .361 (2002-05) and 12 percentage points ahead of Hadli Anstine's mark of .323 (1992-95).
The SEC Defensive Player of the Week honor is the first weekly league honor for Gonzalez, who has previously garnered conference honors as a 2009 SEC Second Team member and a 2010 Preseason All-SEC selection. It marks the first time a Bulldog has been named the Defensive Player of the Week since Meagan Welch earned the honor on Sept. 20, 2006.