Pac-12 announces volleyball players of the week

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - The Pac-12 Conference office announced today the Pac-12 Volleyball Players of the Week for the week of Sept. 16-22. ARIZONA’s Madi Kingdon was named the Conference’s Offensive Player of the Week, OREGON STATE’s Becky Defoe was voted the Defensive Player of the Week and the Wildcats’ Penina Snuka was tabbed the league’s Freshman of the Week.

A junior outside hitter from Phoenix, Ariz., Madi Kingdon was named Wildcat Classic Tournament Most Valuable Player after leading UA to a 3-0 record over the weekend and 10-2 on the season. Kingdon closed out the weekend with 22 kills, 21 digs and six blocks in a five-set victory over UC Santa Barbara. It was her sixth double-double on the season, the most in the Pac-12. She opened the tournament with a .533 hitting percentage (8 kills, 15 attempts), then had 13 kills with six digs and a .262 hitting percentage against Wofford. Kingdon averaged 4.30 kills, 2.90 digs and 5.20 points per set over the three matches, also recording a .318 hitting percentage. On the season, she is tied for the most kills in the Pac-12 (182) and is second in kills per set average (4.44) and points per set (5.30). 

Senior libero Becky Defoe (Bend, Ore.) combined for 44 digs, 10 assists and two service aces as the Beavers recorded back-to-back wins over Prairie View A&M and Long Beach State. She recorded a career-best 35 digs against the 49ers, which is tied for the third-most ever in a single match by an Oregon State player. Defoe also had nine digs and five assists in the straight-set victory over Prairie View A&M. Defoe, who already holds the OSU career record for digs, has 207 on the year and 1,725 for her career, just 275 shy of becoming the ninth player in Pac-12 history with 2,000 or more. Defoe currently leads the Pac-12 with 5.05 digs per set and is the first player in the Conference to record 200 total digs on the season.

Penina Snuka (Gilbert, Ariz.) had 100 assists and averaged 9.09 assists per set last week, helping the Wildcat to three victories and the Wildcat Classic Tournament title. She dished out 27 assists in the three-set victories over Loyola (Md.) and Wofford, then had 46 in the five-set win over UC Santa Barbara in the final match of the weekend. In addition to the 46 assists, she added 13 digs to record her fourth double-double of the season, also tallying four kills and two blocks.

It is the first-career weekly honor for Kingdon and the first offensive honor for a Wildcat since the award was established in 2011. It is Arizona’s 30th all-time weekly nod. Defoe earns defensive nods for the second time in her career and it is the 17th all-time weekly recognition for the Beavers. Snuka garners the weekly freshman award for the first time and it is the Wildcats’ third all-time. 

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

Every Pac-12 team begins Conference play this week with each looking forward to rivalry matches. The Wildcats travel to Arizona State on Tuesday, while OSU hosts Oregon on Wednesday. UA will stay on the road and head to the Bay Area to face California on Friday, Sept. 27, while Oregon State hosts Washington State. All four matches are slated to be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.

Also Nominated:
OFFENSIVE: Laura Schaudt, OSU; Carly Wopat, STAN; Kelly Reeves, UCLA; Samantha Bricio, USC; Shelby Dalton, UTAH; Krista Vansant, WASH; Ver’Leea Hardaway, WSU.

DEFENSIVE: Candace Nicholson, ARIZ; Stephanie Preach, ASU; Inky Ajanaku, STAN; Karly Drolson, UCLA; Natalie Hagglund, USC; Erin Redd-Brandon, UTAH; Melanie Wade, WASH.

FRESHMAN: BreElle Bailey, ASU; Jordan Robbins, UCLA; Ebony Nwanebu, USC; Emmy Allen, WSU.

2013 Pac-12 Players of the Week

 

OFFENSIVE

 DEFENSIVE

FRESHMAN

Sept. 2

Karsta Lowe, UCLA

Erin Redd-Brandon, UTAH

Ebony Nwanebu, USC

Sept. 9

Macey Gardner, ASU

Jenna Orlandini, WASH

Kyra Holt, WSU

Sept. 16

Krista Vansant, WASH

Bianca Arellano, ASU

Elise Ruddins, USC

Sept. 23

Madi Kingdon, ARIZ

Becky Defoe, OSU

Penina Snuka, ARIZ

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