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. 24-30. WASHINGTON’s Krista Vansant was voted the Conference’s Offensive Player of the Week for a league-record 10th-career honor, while USC’s Taylor Whittingham was named the Defensive Player of the Week and OREGON STATE’s Mary-Kate Marshall was tabbed the Freshman of the Week for the second-consecutive week and fifth time this season.
Krista Vansant (Redlands, Calif.) averaged 5.93 points, 5.14 kills and 2.71 digs per game as the Huskies handed No. 1 STANFORD its first loss of the season and swept WASHINGTON STATE. In the 3-1 win over the Cardinal, Vansant hit for 21 kills and added 10 digs for her 12th double-double of the season, along with two service aces and two assists. The victory was Washington’s first win over a No. 1-ranked team since the 2005 NCAA title match against Nebraska. UW concluded the regular season with a 3-0 victory over in-state rival Washington State, as the senior outside hitter knocked down 15 kills and was a dig shy of a double-double with nine on the night.
Taylor Whittingham (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) posted two 20-plus-dig performances, averaging 5.89 digs per set over the two matches. In the Trojans’ 3-1 win over No. 14 Arizona, the sophomore recorded a career-high 33 digs, serving up two aces and adding an assist. Whittingham then notched her 13th 20-plus-dig match with 20 digs in the 3-2 loss to No. 17 UCLA. It also marked her team-leading 25th time in double digits for digs. She currently leads the Pac-12 in digs per set with ana average of 4.94.
Mary-Kate Marshall (Coppell, Texas) led the Beavers to a split weekend, including an upset over rival OREGON, to close out the regular season. The outside hitter combined for 5.00 kills and 5.88 points per game, also averaging 1.50 digs and 1.00 blocks per game. In the 3-1 loss to No. 18 COLORADO, Marshall put down 17 kills along with five blocks, four digs and two service aces. She followed with 23 kills in a 3-1 victory over No. 13 Oregon, adding eight digs and three blocks. Marshall ends the regular season as No. 1 in kills by an OSU freshman, passing previous record holder Rachel Rourke by 100 kills. She was also the only freshman or underclassman in the top-10 in the Pac-12 in kills per set with a season average of 4.23, a mark that is 7th in the league.
Vansant’s weekly honor is the 10th of her career, which surpasses the previous best of nine set by Stanford’s Logan Tom for most-career player of the week honors for a Pac-12 player. It marks Washington’s 50th-overall weekly honor. Whittingham’s honor is the first of her career and the 59th for USC all-time. Marshall picks up her fifth freshman of the week honor this season and the seventh freshman of the week honor for the Beavers all-time.
All three teams earned berths to the NCAA Tournament, which begins this Thursday. Third-seeded Washington hosts New Hampshire on Friday, Dec. 5 and will also host the second-round match on Saturday, Dec. 6. USC makes the long trek to the East Coast to play Coastal Carolina on Friday, Dec. 5 in Chapel Hill, N.C., and Oregon State heads to Kansas to play Creighton in its first-round match on Friday, Dec. 5 in Topeka. For more information, including a complete schedule, visit www.pac-12.com.
Offensive: Alexis Austin, COLO; Martenne Bettendorf, ORE; Amanda Brown, OSU; Inky Ajanaku, STAN; Karsta Lowe, UCLA; Samantha Bricio, USC; Shelby Dalton, UTAH.
Defensive: Cierra Simpson, COLO; Amanda Benson, ORE; Darby Reeder, OSU; Taylor Formico, UCLA; Bailey Bateman, UTAH; Cassie Strickland, WASH.
Freshman: Gabby Simpson, COLO; Merete Lutz, STAN; Olga Strantzali, UCLA; Carly Trueman, UTAH; Tia Scambray, WASH.
2014 PAC-12 VOLLEYBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
|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|
|Oct. 13||Samantha Bricio, USC||Krista Vansant, WASH||Mary-Kate Marshall, OSU|
|Oct. 20||Karsta Lowe, UCLA||Madi Bugg, STAN||Reily Buechler, UCLA|
|Oct. 27||Inky Ajanaku, STAN||Darby Reeder, OSU||Merete Lutz, STAN|
|Nov. 3||Taylor Simpson, COLO||Cassie Strickland, WASH||Mary-Kate Marshall, OSU|
|Nov. 10||Carly Trueman, UTAH||Kyle Gilbert, STAN||Eliza Katoa, UTAH|
|Nov. 17||Taylor Simpson, COLO||Penina Snuka, ARIZ||Adora Anae, UTAH|
|Nov. 24||Karsta Lowe, UCLA||Cassie Strickland, WASH||Mary-Kate Marshall, OSU|
|Dec. 1||Krista Vansant, WASH||Taylor Whittingham, USC||Mary-Kate Marshall, OSU|