Laura DeBruler and the Illini are ranked 19th in this week's poll.
Sept. 2, 2008
Colorado Springs, Colo. - Laura DeBruler, a sophomore outside hitter for No. 19 Illinois has been named the Sports Imports/AVCA Division I National Player of the Week and also the CVU/com National Player of the Week for her MVP performance at the State Farm Illini Classic this past weekend.
DeBruler played three solid matches last week, propelling the Illini to a 3-0 start. In her first match, DeBruler swatted 14 kills with .458 attack percentage, while also adding 15 digs and three blocks in a 3-0 win over North Carolina. The sophomore followed with a 20-kill, four-block, 11-dig outing against then-No. 23 New Mexico State.
DeBruler saved her best for last, as she led the Illini to their second-consecutive upset with a five-set victory over then-No. 11 Oregon. During the match, the force on the outside blasted 31 kills and added 12 digs for her third double-double of the week, while also totaling four blocks.
For the weekend, DeBruler averaged a .302 hitting percentage and 5.40 kills, 3.2 digs, nearly one block and 6.10 points per set. This is the first time DeBruler has earned Sports Imports/AVCA Division I National Player of the Week , and marks the third time a player from Illinois has received the award. The last Illini player to win the award was Jessica Belter on October 20, 2003. Illinois is coached by Don Hardin.