SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – After compiling a total of 149 kills in 10 matches during the month of September, Cal Poly volleyball freshman outside hitter Adlee Van Winden was named the inaugural Papa John's/Cal Poly Student-Athlete of the Month. The true freshman has provided 11 double-digit kill totals through her initial 12 collegiate matches this season, which includes a career-high 20 against both Fresno State and Portland.
The three-time Monticello Empire League Player of the Year earned three consecutive Big West Freshman Player of the Week awards, which marks the first time the same player has earned the honor in successive weeks. Entering Friday's match against No. 24 Long Beach State, Van Winden is fourth among all conference attackers with 177 kills and fifth overall with a 3.82 kills/set average.
Against Fresno State on Sept. 1, Van Winden added four digs, two service aces and block in addition to her 20 kills during a five-set victory. The true freshman then nearly recorded a double double against Coppin State (nine kills, 10 digs) in a three-set sweep and was the only player in double figures with 14 kills in a sweep of Sam Houston State the following afternoon. Van Winden produced a massive 18-kill, 12-dig match against Baylor on Sept. 5 during a four-set defeat.
The freshman sent home 15 kills in a three-set triumph over Idaho on Sept. 11, and in a sweep of St. Francis Brooklyn the following morning, tallied 11 kills and six digs. Van Winden saved her best for Portland the same night, with the most impressive all-around performance of her young career coming against the Pilots in the form of 20 kills and 19 digs.
Van Winden opened the home portion of Cal Poly's schedule on Sept. 18 with a 14-kill, seven-dig match during a three-set sweep of San Diego State, and followed that up with 11 more kills and six digs in a 3-1 loss to Loyola Marymount the following afternoon.
"We aren't shy about setting her the ball," fourth-year head coach Sam Crosson said. "Adlee has been consistent and garnered a lot of respect from her teammates. She's doing a lot of good things for our team right now."
Opening conference play last Saturday evening against No. 11 Hawai'i in Honolulu, Oahu, Van Winden amassed another double-double, this time in the form of 12 kills and 11 digs during a three-set loss.
Cal Poly continues conference play this weekend when hosting both No. 24 Long Beach State at 7 p.m. Friday and CSUN at 4 p.m. Saturday inside the Mott Athletics Center. Cal Poly (8-4) is off to its best 12-match start to open a season since 2006.