Laura Beier, Volleyball

Laura Beier, Volleyball

ATLANTA — Berry College's Laura Beier earned the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) Volleyball Defensive Player of the Week honor for the fifth time this season, the league office announced on Monday.

Beier, a sophomore libero from Powder Springs, Ga., was dominant at the Emory National Invitational over the weekend, helping the Vikings to a 2-1 record and earning All-Tournament honors. In a straight-set win over regionally ranked Washington & Lee, Beier posted 29 digs for an average of 9.67 digs per set. That mark is fourth in Berry's NCAA Division III era for digs in a three-set match. 

She followed with 10 digs in a 3-0 loss to Division III powerhouse Emory, before a program-record 45 stops against regionally ranked Randolph-Macon in four sets. For the weekend, Beier averaged 8.4 digs per set and also had three service aces.

Beier should be heavily favored for her second straight SAA Defensive Player of the Year honor heading into the conference tournament this weekend at Birmingham-Southern. She leads the SAA with 5.80 digs per set and 609 total digs, both career highs. She claimed the league's top defensive honor last season with a 5.77 digs per set and 600 dig total. She is 57 digs short of the team's DIII era single-season record, held by Katie Truluck. 

The Vikings open the SAA tournament on Friday at 1:00 p.m. ET against Rhodes. Birmingham-Southern claimed its first SAA regular season title and serves as the tournament host. Berry's semifinal match would be set for Saturday at 5:00 p.m. ET before the SAA championship match on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. ET.