BIRMINGHAM – Behind a record-setting blocking performance in Auburn volleyball’s sweep of in-state rival Alabama, senior middle blocker Tatum Shipes was selected as the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Week, the league office announced Monday.
The recognition is the first Defensive Player of the Week honor in Shipes’s career. The senior was selected SEC Co-Freshman of the Week on Oct. 29, 2018. As a team, Auburn has won SEC Defensive Player of the Week a program record three times in 2021.
Shipes and the Tigers opened the week with a road test at No. 20 Tennessee. Shipes totaled 6.0 blocks against the Lady Vols, while adding one dig and three kills.
The Buford, Ga., native rewrote the record book in Tigers’ five-set thriller against the Crimson Tide. Shipes recorded 12.0 total blocks to help Auburn to its first SEC home victory since 2018.
Shipes recorded two solo blocks and 10 block assists to set the program’s single-match record for blocks in the rally scoring era. The previous record of 11.0 was set on Nov. 23, 2017 by Breanna Barksdale at Florida. Shipes added seven kills, one assist and a season-high five digs in the match.
As a team, Auburn totaled 18.0 blocks, tying the program’s record for team blocks in a match. The Tigers also totaled 18.0 team blocks against South Florida on Sept. 13, 2014.
Shipes continued her dominance at the net in Sunday’s finale against Alabama. In the sweep, Shipes added 7.0 total blocks. Offensively, she chipped in three kills.
Auburn has now won back-to-back SEC games for the first time since knocking off Georgia and Mississippi State in back-to-back matches in November of 2018. The Tigers have also now won three straight matches against Alabama. It is the longest win streak against the Crimson Tide since the Tigers won six straight from 2009 to 2012.
Shipes currently leads the SEC in both total blocks (78.0) and blocks per set (1.59). Shipes ranks seventh and 12th, respectively, in both categories on the nationally stage.
Auburn returns to Southeastern Conference play this weekend with a pair of matches in Fayetteville against Arkansas. The series begins on Saturday, Oct. 9 with a 5 p.m. CT first serve. Sunday’s finale is set for 3 p.m. CT. Both matches will air on the SEC Network+.