Pac-12 announces volleyball players of the week

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - The Pac-12 Conference office announced the Pac-12 Volleyball Players of the Week for the week of Nov. 4-10. CALIFORNIA’s Christina Higgins was voted Offensive Player of the Week and WASHINGTON’s Jenna Orlandini was named Defensive Player of the Week. USC’s Ebony Nwanebu was tabbed Freshman of the Week for the fifth time this season, tying the record for most freshman weekly selections.

Junior outside hitter Christina Higgins (Inglewood, Calif.) posted two matches with double-digit kills, tallying 15 against Utah and a career-high 20 against Colorado in a weekend where California earned victories over both schools over the course of the weekend. Against the Utes, Higgins hit .310 in a close match that saw 14 set points, also recording a block that ended the match in the third set. Higgins’ career performance on Saturday secured the four-set victory at Colorado, making Cal the first team to sweep Utah and Colorado on the road this season.

Senior libero Jenna Orlandini (La Cañada, Calif.) helped the Huskies hold the Arizona schools to a combined .089 attack percentage on the weekend, as Washington earned back-to-back road wins to stay atop the Pac-12 standings. On Saturday against Arizona State, Orlandini set her career high with 31 digs, the most by a Husky since the 2009 season, as UW beat the Sun Devils in four sets. Against Arizona, Orlandini and the Dawgs held the Wildcats to a .067 attack percentage as the senior added 12 more digs and a service ace. She tallied seven assists over the weekend and averaged 6.14 digs per set through both matches. Her 4.16 digs per set average is seventh among Pac-12 players. 

Outside hitter Ebony Nwanebu (Fairview, Texas) powered the Trojans to a pair of 3-0 wins over Oregon and Oregon State, posting 23 kills with a .488 hitting percentage, committing only two errors on 43 total attempts. Against the Ducks, Nwanebu had 10 kills on 20 swings along with three blocks. The freshman went on to tally 13 kills on 23 attempts versus Oregon State for a .522 average in the three-set win.

It is Higgins’ first-career offensive weekly selection and Cal’s 34th weekly award all-time. Orlandini takes home her third-career weekly award and second this season after receiving the honor on Sept. 9. Washington now has 41 all-time players of the week selections. Nwanebu was tabbed the league’s Freshman of the Week for the fifth time this season, which ties the single-season record that was previously set by fellow Trojan Samantha Bricio

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.

California remains on the road for the second-straight weekend, traveling to face Oregon State and Oregon on back-to-back days, taking on the Beavers on Thursday and the Ducks on Friday. Washington remains at home, hosting USC and UCLA on their home court. In addition to facing UW, USC also travels to Washington State on Sunday. 

Also Nominated:

OFFENSIVE: Madi Kingdon, ARIZ; Taylor Simpson, COLO; Liz Brenner, ORE; Inky Ajanku, STAN; Karsta Lowe, UCLA; Ebony Nwanebu, USC; Kaleigh Nelson, WASH.

DEFENSIVE: Halli Amaro, ARIZ; Lara Vukasovic, CAL; Jessica Aschenbrenner, COLO; Canace Finley, ORE; Carly Wopat, STAN; Kelly Reeves, UCLA; Natalie Hagglund, USC. 

FRESHMAN: Penina Snuka, ARIZ; Cierra Simpson, COLO; Amanda Benson, ORE; Jessyka Ngauamo, UCLA.

2013 Pac-12 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

Oct. 7

Alexis Olgard, USC

Natalie Hagglund, USC

Ebony Nwanebu, USC

Oct. 14

Carly Wopat, STAN

Chelsey Schofield, UTAH

Ebony Nwanebu, USC

Oct. 21

Madi Kingdon, ARIZ

Krista Vansant, WASH

Penina Snuka, ARIZ

Oct. 28

Lianna Sybeldeon, WASH

Erin Redd-Brandon, UTAH

Maddy Kerr, CAL

Nov. 4

Samantha Bricio, WASH

Natalie Hagglund, USC

Kyra Holt, WSU

Nov. 11

Christina Higgins, CAL

Jenna Orlandini, WASH

Ebony Nwanebu, USC

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