Freshman Dupont named AVCA National Player of the Week
Freshman Caroline Dupont was named the Sports Imports/American Volleyball Coaches Association Division III National Player of the Week. A middle hitter from Leawood, Kan., Dupont led Washington University to the WU/ASICS National Invitational crown over the weekend and was also selected to the All-Tournament Team.
Her tournament started out slowly as she tallied a mere seven kills in a sweep against Ohio Northern University Friday night. Dupont then excelled in Saturday’s doubleheader, going for 18 kills and a .593 hitting percentage in a five-set win over Pacific Lutheran University and 17 kills and a .586 mark in four sets against Wittenberg University. Defensively, she added one solo block and six block assists against PLU and a career-high six digs against Wittenberg.
After her first five games as a college player, all coming in the season’s first weekend, Dupont’s high in kills had been just 10.
“I did get more opportunities because they set the middles a little bit more this past weekend,” Dupont said, “but also I think that I had a little bit more confidence going into the second weekend. I was a bit nervous the first weekend, and hopefully it shows that I’m going to keep getting better week to week.”
She has a .418 hitting percentage thus far in the season, which is the only mark better than .301 among Bears’ regulars. Much of the schedule has yet to be played, but if she sustains this pace, Dupont will be in elite company—only four Division III players in the country hit better than .418 last season.
Dupont is the first freshman to be named Division III National Player of the Week since 2008 and the first Wash. U. player since then-senior Lauren Budde received the honor in 2011.
“I had no idea that this was even like a possibility,” Dupont said about receiving the honor. “I hoped that I would be able to step up and compete with these other teams, but I definitely surprised myself.”
The No. 6 Bears travel to Springfield, Ohio, this weekend for the Wittenberg Fall Classic. Their slate of opponents includes No. 1 Calvin College and No. 5 Hope College.