Pac-12 announces volleyball players of the week

SAN FRANCISCO - The Pac-12 Conference office announced today the Pac-12 Volleyball Players of the Week for the week of Sept. 29-Oct. 5. WASHINGTON’s Krista Vansant was voted the Conference’s Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season, while fellow Husky Lianna Sybeldon was named the Defensive Player of the Week and STANFORD’s Merete Lutz was tabbed the Freshman of the Week.

Krista Vansant (Redlands, Calif.) helped the Huskies stay undefeated and move to 4-0 in Pac-12 play, logging two home wins over ranked opponents in USC and UCLA. The 2013 Pac-12 Player of the Year hit .333 in both matches, converting 14 kills in a sweep of the then-19th ranked Trojans, and then putting away 19 kills in a five-set comeback win over the then-20th ranked Bruins. In the match against UCLA, Vansant also added 12 digs for her sixth double-double of the season. The reigning AVCA National Player of the Year also posted eight total blocks and two service aces on the weekend. Washington extended its home winning streak to 25 matches, the second-longest such streak in program history. 

Lianna Sybeldon (Folsom, Calif.) led UW in total blocks and hitting percentage in a pair of Pac-12 home wins. In the victory over USC, the middle blocker had nine blocks in three sets, while hitting a .429 mark with seven kills. The Huskies dropped the first two sets against the Bruins on Friday, but rallied to win the next three, as Sybeldon posted a season-high 13 kills on a .500 attack percentage to go with five stops at the net, giving her 14 total blocks and a 1.75 blocks per set average for the week. The junior’s 1.73 blocks per set average leads the Conference and is second in the NCAA.

Merete Lutz (Houston, Texas) recorded 24 kills on 36 attempts with just one error in two wins over Oregon State and previously undefeated Oregon to help the Cardinal keep a perfect record with a 14-0 overall mark and a 4-0 slate in league play. The redshirt freshman led the team in the 3-1 win over the then-11th ranked Ducks, recording 13 kills on 22 errorless swings to go with two assists and four blocks. Against the Beavers, she posted a career-high .714 hitting percentage, putting down 11 kills on 14 attempts with one error. The nation’s leader in hitting percentage last week, Lutz improved her season attack percentage to .551 this week, which is also tops in the Pac-12. Stanford is off to its best start since 2010 when it also won its first 14 matches of the year. 

The two weekly honors mark UW’s 44th and 45th all-time. Vansant’s eighth-career weekly honor ties for second all-time in Pac-12 history. She is tied with UCLA legendary dual-sport athlete Natalie Williams (1989-1992). Lutz’s accolade is the eighth freshman of the week honor for the Cardinal. 

Washington will hit the road to play at Oregon State on Friday, Oct. 10 at 6 p.m. PT before traveling to face Oregon on Sunday, Oct. 12 at 11 a.m. PT. Stanford will make the trip to the desert, taking on Arizona on Friday at 8 p.m. MT then Arizona State on Sunday at 12 p.m. MT. All four matches will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks. 

Also Nominated

Offensive: Kizzy Willey, ASU; Alexis Austin, COLO; Martenne Bettendorf, ORE; Katelyn Driscoll, OSU; Merete Lutz, STAN; Karsta Lowe, UCLA; Samantha Bricio, USC; Adora Anae, UTAH. 

Defensive: Cierra Simpson, COLO; Darby Reeder, OSU; Kyle Gilbert, STAN; Taylor Formico, UCLA; Taylor Whittingham, USC; Lea Adolph, UTAH. 

Freshman: Anna Pfefferle, COLO; Maggie Scott, ORE; Mary-Kate Marshall, OSU; Reily Buechler, UCLA; Lauryn Gillis, USC; Adora Anae, UTAH; Crissy Jones, WASH. 

2014 PAC-12 VOLLEYBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

  Offensive Defensive Freshman
Sept. 1 Madi Kingdon, ARIZ Inky Ajanaku, STAN Mary-Kate Marshall, OSU
Sept. 8 Karsta Lowe, UCLA Inky Ajanaku, STAN Frankie Shebby, ORE
Sept. 15 Karsta Lowe, UCLA Bailey Bateman, UTAH Frankie Shebby, ORE
Sept. 22 Krista Vansant, WASH Arica Nassar, OSU Tia Scambray, WASH
Sept. 29 Karsta Lowe, UCLA McKenzie Jacobson, ARIZ Tia Scambray, WASH
Oct. 6 Krista Vansant, WASH Lianna Sybeldon, WASH Merete Lutz, STAN
Now on Pac-12 Network
11:00 AM PT

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