Catawba Valley Community College volleyball player Caitlin Dailey was named the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) DII Defensive Player of the Week on Wednesday.
This is the second time that the redshirt freshman libero from Rutherfordton has earned this honor this season after winning the award in January.
“This award gives me more confidence,” Dailey said. “As a libero, you have to walk in the gym and believe that you’re the best passer on the court or it’s just not going to work out. If you wear that jersey, that’s the mindset you have to carry. This award helps me have even more confidence in myself on the court.”
Dailey tallied 102 digs in six matches last week, helping the Red Hawks win four matches, including two at an extremely competitive Wallace State Spring Bash in Hanceville, Ala.
She leads CVCC with 285 total digs and 4.61 digs per set on the season.
“I knew it was going to be a big week for our team,” Dailey said. “Even in our midweek tri-match we played a university team and a Division 1 junior college. I had it in my mind that with us playing really good competition that I needed to try to perform well enough to earn the weekly award again. I’m grateful to be recognized again. I didn’t think I would. My goal every week is to perform at that level — whether I receive an award or not.”
Dailey joins an elite list of CVCC volleyball players to have won more than one weekly NJCAA honor in a season. Middle hitter Emma Clark, who graduated last year, is the only other Red Hawk volleyball player to do so.
“That says a lot to me and surprises me,” Dailey said of joining Clark as a two-time NJCAA weekly defensive award winner. “It makes me feel very honored.”
Wednesday’s honor also marks the sixth time that Red Hawk student athletes have been honored by the NJCAA with a weekly award this school year.
Dailey and the top-seeded Red Hawks play in the Region 10/Southeast District semifinals on Friday against fourth-seeded Sandhills at noon at the Tarlton Complex. The winner of the tournament advances to the NJCAA DII National Championship in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.