Essence Clerkley named NJCAA and AVCA Player of the Week

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Blinn College freshman outside hitter and middle blocker Essence Clerkley (Waxahachie) was named NJCAA Division I Volleyball Tachikara Offensive Player of the Week and Sports Imports AVCA Two-Year College Player of the Week for her outstanding performance in Week 4 of the 2019 season.

Clerkley recorded 43 kills and led Blinn's offense with 2.87 kills per set and a .606 hitting percentage in the No. 11 Buccaneers' sweeps over Coastal Bend, New Mexico, College of DuPage, Frank Phillips, and St. Clair County.

"It is surreal to be selected by both the NJCAA and AVCA for player of the week honors," Clerkley said. "I have been working hard all season and it is nice to get recognized at such a high level. My teammates helped me get this honor since we all have the same drive and they me push me harder."

Clerkley leads Blinn this season with a .482 hitting percentage, the fifth highest in the nation, and is second in kills with 203.

"It is an incredible achievement to get both honors and speaks volumes about the player and person she is," said Terry Gamble, Blinn head coach. "It is very well deserved because she practices extremely hard and it shows in the matches, so I am really excited for her."

Clerkley is the second Blinn College athlete to earn player of the week honors this season. Brock Landis was named NJCAA Division I Football Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in Week 2.

Blinn is now 23-1 overall and opens conference play tonight at 6 p.m. against Lee College on the road.­­

Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 41 NJCAA national championships since 1987.