Pac-12 volleyball honors announced

By the Pac-12 Conference

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- The Pac-12 Conference office announced today the Pac-12 Volleyball Players of the Week for the week of Aug. 27-Sept. 2. WASHINGTON's Krista Vansant was voted Offensive Player of the Week, UCLA's Karsta Lowe was selected the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week and USC's Samantha Bricio was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week.

WASHINGTON sophomore Krista Vansant (Redlands, Calif.) led UW in straight-set victories over then-No. 7 Purdue, LSU and Rice to claim the Tiger Classic title. Vansant was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament after averaging 4.82 points per set, 4.22 kills per set, 2.67 digs per set and 0.78 blocks per set, to go along with a .314 hitting percentage. She had double-digit kills (14 and 13, respectively) in the wins over the Boilermakers and Tigers, then posted her second double-double of the season against Rice (11 kills, 11 digs). Vansant also had seven blocks over the three matches, including three in the upset-win over Purdue. The 2011 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, she earned her second MVP honor of the season and has posted double-digit kills in every match this season.

UCLA sophomore Karsta Lowe (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.) had a strong all-around performance over the weekend, setting personal highs in kills and digs on consecutive nights. Named to the all-tournament team, Lowe posted an impressive .632 hitting percentage in the sweep of Northeastern, going 12-for-19 with no errors. She also had eight digs and three blocks to help shutdown the Huskies. She followed up with her first-career double-double, tallying 14 kills with 11 digs. She also contributed a career-high six blocks on the defensive end. Lowe averaged 3.71 kills, 2.71 digs, 1.29 blocks and 4.64 points per set in two matches.

USC's Samantha Bricio (Guadalajara, Mexico) earned her second all-tournament selection, helping the Trojans claim the Trojan Invitational title. Bricio logged her second double-double with 13 kills and 10 digs against a 23rd-ranked Northern Iowa team. Against Boston College, she had a third set in which she scored six kills without an error. She did the same against Mississippi State and had nine digs to go with a career-best three service aces. Since her first collegiate match, Bricio has had five-straight outings in which she has reached double digits in kills and did so this weekend while maintaining a .333 hitting rate. She also averged 3.71 kills, 2.71 digs and 1.29 blocks per set.

Vansant earns her first-career offensive player of the week honor and is Washington's 32nd weekly selection all-time. Vansant was named freshman of the week three times during the 2011 campaign. It is the first-career weekly honor for Lowe and UCLA's 62nd all-time. Bricio earns freshman of the week nods for the second-straight week.

Weekly awards have been selected every week of the season since the Conference began sponsoring women's volleyball in 1986. It is the second year the Pac-12 has announced an offensive, defensive and rookie honoree.

The Huskies, Bruins and Trojans return to action this weekend. Washington kicks off the week with a match on Thursday, Sept. 6 against Seattle University, before hosting The Invitational at Seattle over the weekend. UCLA travels to the Verizon Challenge hosted by the University of Hawaii, while the Trojans remain at home to host the USC Classic Tournament.

In addition, Pac-12 fans will be treated to top-level competition with two televised matches on the Pac-12 Networks. STANFORD hosts the Jiangsu Chinese Team on Wednesday, Sept. 5 at 7 p.m. The Jiangsu team remains in the Bay Area, taking on CALIFORNIA on Thursday, Sept. 6.

For more information, including a full television schedule, visit www.pac-12.com.

Also Nominated:
OFFENSIVE: Macey Gardner, ASU; Correy Johnson, CAL; Alaina Bergsma, ORE; Camille Saxton, OSU; Carly Wopat, STAN; Karsta Lowe, UCLA; Katie Fuller, USC; Erin Redd, UTAH; Jaicee Harris, WSU.

DEFENSIVE: Stephanie Preach, ASU; Kat Brown, CAL; Katherine Fischer, ORE; Becky Defoe, OSU; Kyle Gilbert, STAN; Natalie Hagglund, USC; Kelcey Dunaway, WASH; Rachel Todorovich, WSU.

FRESHMAN: Macey Gardner, ASU; Martenne Bettendorf, ORE; Madi Bugg, STAN; Karly Drolson, UCLA; Katy Beals, WASH.

2012 Pac-12 Women's Volleyball Players of the Week

Date Offensive Defensive Freshman
Aug. 27 Alaina Bergsma, ORE Arica Nassar, OSU Samantha Bricio, USC
Sept. 3 Krista Vansant, WASH Karsta Lowe, UCLA Samantha Bricio, USC