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 Nov. 17-23. UCLA’s Karsta Lowe was voted the Conference’s Offensive Player of the Week for the fifth time this season, while WASHINGTON’s Cassie Strickland was named the Defensive Player of the Week and OREGON STATE’s Mary-Kate Marshall was tabbed the Freshman of the Week.

Karsta Lowe (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.) recorded a pair of 20-plus-kills matches, averaging 6.00 kills and 7.07 points per set on a .260 hitting percentage as the Bruins improved to 19-10 and 10-8 in Pac-12 play. The senior opened the week with 22 kills, eight digs, two aces and two blocks in a 3-0 loss at No. 14 OREGON on Friday. On Saturday at Oregon State, Lowe posted her sixth double-double of the year on 20 kills and 10 digs, adding three aces and three blocks as the Bruins beat the Beavers, 3-1. The outside hitter continues to lead the nation with 5.96 kills per set and 6.60 points per set, adding a team-best 29 aces. 

Cassie Strickland (Huntington Beach, Calif.) helped the Huskies hold No. 13 ARIZONA and No. 22 ARIZONA STATE to a combined .134 attack percentage in a pair of 3-0 wins this weekend. The junior libero averaged 5.00 digs per set and anchored a Husky passing game that helped UW hit a .362 clip, with zero reception errors in her 32 attempts. Strickland had 14 digs in the win over Arizona, and added 16 more in the sweep of Arizona State on Sunday. The Huskies improved to 27-2 with the two wins and 16-2 in Pac-12 play. 

Mary-Kate Marshall (Coppell, Texas) posted two double-doubles, averaging 3.88 kills and 3.00 digs per game as the Beavers upset No. 25 USC, 3-1, and dropped a four-set match to No. 17 UCLA. The outside hitter opened the weekend with 12 kills and 11 digs against the Trojans, adding a block and a service ace. Marshall then recorded 19 kills and 13 digs against the Bruins for her 13th double-double on the season. She already holds the record for kills by a freshman at Oregon State, and she now has the eighth-most digs from a freshman in OSU history. 

Lowe’s weekly honor is the seventh of her career, which is tied for third-most by a single player, and UCLA’s 75th all-time. Her five honors this year are the most since Stanford’s Logan Tom earned the honor five times in 2001. Strickland takes home her second-career weekly accolade and the 49th for the Huskies overall. Marshall picks up her fourth freshman of the week honor this season and the sixth freshman of the week honor for the Beavers all-time. 

All three teams finish the regular season this week, with rivalry matches taking place on Friday, Nov. 28. The Bruins travel to face Arizona State in Tempe on Wednesday, Nov. 26 before hosting USC on Friday in a match to be televised on ESPNU at 8:30 p.m. PT. Washington hosts top-ranked Stanford on Wednesday at 5 p.m. in a match to be broadcast on Pac-12 Networks, then travels to Pullman to face Washington State on Friday. The Beavers take on Colorado on the road on Wednesday then return home to host Oregon on Friday. For more information, including a complete schedule, visit www.pac-12.com. 

Also Nominated
Offensive: Madi Kingdon, ARIZ; Taylor Simpson, COLO; Martenne Bettendorf, ORE; Mary-Kate Marshall, OSU; Jordan Burgess, STAN; Samantha Bricio, USC; Shelby Dalton, UTAH; Krista Vansant, WASH; Emmy Allen, WSU.  

Defensive: Cierra Simpson, COLO; Maggie Scott, ORE; Darby Reeder, OSU; Merete Lutz, STAN; Claire Felix, UCLA; Taylor Whittingham, USC; Lea Adolph, UTAH; Kate Sommer, WSU. 

Freshman: Gabby Simpson, COLO; Taylor Agost, ORE; Merete Lutz, STAN; Reily Buechler, UCLA; Carly Trueman, UTAH; Courtney Schwan, WASH.

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