Sep 042007

After leading her team to a perfect sweep in the Coors Classic this past weekend, junior middle blocker Mekana Barnes was named the AVCA National Player of the Week and the Mountain West Conference Player of the Week on Tuesday.

Barnes became the fifth Ram ever and first since 2004 to earn the national honor.

“Its obviously a great honor,” said coach Tom Hilbert. “She has the ability to take over games. For two matches in a row, to put up the numbers she did is a testament to her ability.”

Barnes led the Rams to an upset over then-No. 13 Ohio State last Thursday by recording a career-high hitting percentage of .526 (12-2-19) and eight total blocks in CSU’s 3-0 sweep of the Buckeyes.

On Saturday the junior from Highlands Ranch topped her career-high hitting percentage again with an efficiency of .609 as the Rams beat the Pacific Tigers 3-0 to capture the Classic.

For the week, Barnes averaged 4.67 kills, 2.33 blocks, 0.50 digs and 0.50 aces per game.

“She’s certainly one of the most dynamic athletes we’ve had,” Hilbert said. “. Not only is she a great athlete, she’s becoming a great volleyball player.”

The Rams return to the court Thursday when they host CU-Boulder at 7:30 p.m. at Moby Arena as part of the Hilton Classic.

Barnes is the sixth Ram to earn the MWC honor since the league was created in 1999.

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