GREENSBORO, N.C. – Senior libero Paola Pimentel and freshman outside hitter Larissa Mendes have both been recognized by the Atlantic Coast Conference as players of the week, the league office announced on Monday.
Pimentel has been awarded ACC Defensive Player of the Week while Mendes was tabbed ACC Co-Freshman of the Week. The awards represent the first career conference honors for both Yellow Jackets.
The duo earns the recognition after leading No. 11 Georgia Tech volleyball to back-to-back 3-1 victories over No. 12 Ohio State, resulting in a program record of three consecutive top-15 victories over Big Ten schools and a 4-0 start to the season.
Pimentel anchored the White and Gold’s defense in its second weekend of action, compiling 45 digs over the course of both matches. The seasoned libero came just one dig shy of her career high with 22 on Friday before tying her career high of 23 on Saturday against the highly-touted Buckeyes. Leading the squad in digs through both matches, Pimentel now tops the ACC and is 21st in the NCAA in digs per set (5.13). The floor cleaner owns the third-highest tally for digs in a single match in the conference (23) and is tied for the top two marks in the league in digs through a four-set match (23, 22). Over her career, Pimentel is also 10th in the league in digs per set (3.47).
Mendes turned heads once again in her second week of collegiate action, fronting the Jacket attack with 30 kills (3.75 k/s) at a .286 clip on the weekend while pitching in on the defensive end with 19 digs and three blocks. The Brazilian was instrumental in both of Tech’s dominant triumphs over the Buckeyes, tallying double-digit kills in each contest. Mendes came away with 14 kills at a team-high .303 clip on top of five digs in Tech’s first triumph. The explosive freshman next led the unit with a career-high 16 kills and racked up a personal-best 14 digs to propel the White and Gold to the historic start. Amongst the conference this season, Mendes now sits tied for fifth in kills per set (3.67) and fifth in points per set (4.17). Early in her career, the young Jacket similarly ranks fifth in the league in career kills per set and fourth in career points per set with the same tallies.
Georgia Tech picks up a pair of weekly ACC honors in the second week of the season after totaling four a season ago, each awarded to decorated former outside hitter Julia Bergmann.
The White and Gold will continue their road conquest for the third consecutive week, heading to the Florida A&M Tournament hosted by the namesake Rattlers Sept. 8-10 in Tallahassee, Fla.
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