Oct. 16, 2013
By Taylor Wright | UTAMavs.com
ARLINGTON, Texas – Senior middle blocker Charmaine Whitmore has been among the nation's leaders in blocks all season. Lately, she has climbed up the ranks and is currently second, averaging 1.64 per set.
"I've been working on blocking since the end of last season and now that I'm succeeding, I'm really excited," Whitmore said. "I didn't start the season with this goal in mind but now that I'm up there, my goal is to be number one."
The Fort Smith, Ark. native transferred to UT Arlington at the start of her junior year in 2012 from the University of Arkansas. Last season, Whitmore started 27 matches as a middle blocker and led in total blocks (119), averaging 1.21 per set, and finished third with a .219 attack percentage. She was also fifth in kills (178), averaging 1.81 per set.
The Mavs are off to a strong start in 2013, sitting at 11-9 overall and 4-3 in Sun Belt Conference play, with the help of Whitmore's solid defense at the net. She is the only Maverick to earn SBC Player of the Week honors this season, as she was named Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 9.
In UTA's four matches that week, Whitmore averaged 2.2 blocks per set with 33 total, three solo and 30 assisted. She notched 12 total blocks in a key victory over Baylor in that timeframe.
"Blocking low and over the net has become a mindset for me," Whitmore said. "I am a lot more focused on it than I was last season."
Whitmore currently leads the Sun Belt Conference in blocks per set. For the season, she has recorded 123 total blocks (10 solo and 113 assisted) while starting all 20 matches for the Mavs.
Last week against Arkansas State, Whitmore had her first double-double performance of her collegiate career with 11 kills and 13 total blocks. That was the first double-double with blocks in Diane Seymour's ten seasons as head coach at UT Arlington.
"A year ago, we knew what the upside of Charmaine was going to be," Seymour said. "But now it's just phenomenal to see her take blocking so seriously and really get some recognition for it."
Whitmore and the rest of the Mavericks return to the court Friday at 6:30 p.m. against South Alabama at College Park Center. UTA's five-match homestand concludes Sunday at noon against Troy.