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Athletics

Birch Adds Big West Player Of The Week Honors To Her Tournament MVP

Sep 17, 2012

For the first time in her collegiate career, junior Megan Birch earned Big West Player of the Week honors after picking up the award for the week ending on Sept. 16. The award was the second of the year for the Tigers as Birch followed freshman Kat Schulz with the title of the conference's best after Schulz earned the award on Sept. 3.

Putting together a career weekend in which she posted three-consecutive outstanding performances, Birch led the Tigers to their third tournament title of the 2012 season as Pacific grabbed the Marquette Invitational championship with a 3-0 record. For her efforts leading the Tigers' attack, Birch was named the tournament's MVP as the Monroe, Wash. native earned her third all-tournament award of the year.

Throughout the weekend, the junior averaged just over 20 kills per match including posting a career-high 23 kills against the host Golden Eagles of Marquette, a team sitting just outside of the nation's top-25. Prior to her 23-kill performance, Birch kicked off her tournament with 20 kills and a .264 (20-6-53) hitting percentage in a four-set win against Iowa.  She was at her most efficient in the tournament finale against Milwaukee, hitting at a .326 clip with 19 kills and just four errors in 46 swings.

On the year, Birch leads the Tigers with 182 kills while averaging 3.96 kills per set. She ranks No. 4 in the Big West in kills per set while her total kills ranks in at No. 3. Taking over as Pacific's top scoring option, Birch is nearing in on her previous career high of 273 kills, a mark she set last season as a sophomore.

Pacific is off to an 11-1 start to the 2012 season, a record which places the Tigers at the top of the conference standings heading into Big West play. For the Tigers and the rest of the Big West, the real season begins this week as Pacific heads to UC Davis on Saturday, Sept. 22 to kick off the conference slate of matches.

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