Pac-12 announces volleyball players of the week

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Photo credit: Nicholas Gabriel of Shutter Geeks Photography

Washington’s Vansant Named Offensive Player of the Week
Colorado’s Lindow Voted Defensive Player of the Week
USC’s Nwanebu Selected Freshman 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. 23-29. WASHINGTON’s Krista Vansant was named the Conference’s Offensive Player of the Week, COLORADO’s Nikki Lindow was voted the Defensive Player of the Week and USC’s Ebony Nwanebu was tabbed the league’s Freshman of the Week.

Junior outside hitter Krista Vansant (Redlands, Calif.) led the Huskies to a 2-0 record in the opening week of Pac-12 play, earning two wins against hostile crowds to garner Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week nods for the second time this season. In the Conference opener at Washington State on Wednesday, Vansant and the Huskies handed the Cougars their first loss of the year, winning in straight sets. She had 13 kills on 25 attempts with just two errors to hit .440, also adding three digs and four blocks. Two days later, facing the third-largest crowd in Oregon history of 4,668, Vansant had a team-high 17 kills on a .295 attack percentage as the Huskies knocked off the 21st-ranked Ducks in four sets. Vansant added seven digs and a season-best five blocks. Vansant averaged 4.29 kills, 1.43 digs, 1.29 blocks and 5.14 points per set on the week, while hitting .348.

Senior Nikki Lindow (Erie, Colo.) becomes the first Colorado Buffalo to earn a Pac-12 weekly honor. Lindow helped the Buffs knock off No. 11 UCLA in a thrilling five-set victory on Friday. The win was the first against the Bruins in an eight-match all-time series and was the first win over a ranked opponent in head coach Liz Kritza’s five-year era. The win also snapped a 41-match losing streak to ranked opponents for CU which dated back to 2008 when the Buffs defeated No. 2 Nebraska on Oct. 29. Lindow put up 12 blocks against UCLA, tying for the fourth best in a single match in CU history. She also had 14 kills and just one error on 28 attacks to hit a team-high .464 with 20.0 points. Earlier in the week, she recorded nine kills and hit .300 with 13.0 points in a five-set loss at Utah. She also put up six blocks in that effort (two solo and four assists) and picked up four digs. Lindow averaged 2.30 kills, 0.50 digs, 1.80 blocks and 3.30 points per set last week which was also the first week of Pac-12 play. She also hit .396.

Freshman outside hitter Ebony Nwanebu (Lucas, Texas) powered the Trojan offense to a big win over No. 11-ranked and crosstown-rival UCLA, posting 17 kills (4 errors, 31 attempts) and a .419 hitting percentage. She added two blocks and a dig, leading the team with 18.0 points in the first Pac-12 match of her career. She maintained her attack prowess in a league-road match, logging nine kills  on 17 attempts and just two errors for a . 412 hitting percentage. On the weekend, she put up 26 kills (3.71 kps) and hit .417 for 4.00 points per set.

It is the fourth time overall and second time this season Vansant has earned Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honors, as well as the 38th all-time weekly nod for a Husky. Lindow’s weekly recognition is the first-ever Pac-12 volleyball weekly nod for Colorado. Nwanebu is the league’s freshman of the week for the second time this season.

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. Freshman of the week honors are not included in the all-time totals for each institution.

One of just four undefeated teams still remaining in the country, the Huskies put their streak on the line heading to Colorado. Before the Huskies come to town, the Buffs host a non-conference tilt against Wyoming on Tuesday night. The Trojans return home and host a pair of ranked foes in Stanford and California.

Also Nominated:
OFFENSIVE: Madi Kingdon, ARIZ; Macey Gardner, ASU; Liz Brenner, ORE; Carly Wopat, STAN; Karsta Lowe, UCLA; Samantha Bricio, USC; Shelby Dalton, UTAH; Kyra Holt, WSU.

DEFENSIVE: Candace Nicholson, ARIZ; Whitney Follette, ASU; Kyle Gilbert, STAN; Karly Drolson, UCLA; Natalie Hagglund, USC; Bailey Bateman, UTAH; Jenna Orlandini, WASH; Kate Sommer, WSU.

FRESHMAN: Penina Snuka, ARIZ; Cierra Simpson, COLO; Claire Felix, UCLA; Kyra Holt, WSU.

2013 Pac-12 Women’s Volleyball 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

Sept. 30    Krista Vansant, WASH    Nikki Lindow, COLO    Ebony Nwanebu, USC

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