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. 14-20. COLORADO’s Gabby Simpson was voted the Conference’s Offensive Player of the Week, while WASHINGTON’s Melanie Wade was selected the Defensive Player of the Week, and WASHINGTON STATE’s McKenna Woodford is the Freshman of the Week.

PAC-12 OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: GABBY SIMPSON, COLO (SO, OH, Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Sophomore Gabby Simpson is the third Buffalo to earn Pac-12 weekly honors since they joined the league in 2011, and the second to be named the offensive player of the week. Simpson was named the Omni Invitational Tournament Most Valuable Player after leading the Buffs to a 4-0 weekend. She recorded a career-best 21 kills and hit .372 in the tournament opener against Montana State, also adding four total blocks. She was nearly as efficient in the 3-0 win over Weber State the following match, recording 16 kills and a .370 hitting percentage. She also had 16 kills and four blocks vs. George Mason and 13 kills and five blocks against Air Force. For the week, she averaged 5.68 points, 4.71 kills and 1.07 blocks per set, while hitting .303. It is Simpson’s first-career weekly honor and fourth for Colorado all-time.

Also Nominated: Kalei Mau, ARIZ; Macey Gardner, ASU; Mary-Kate Marshall, OSU; Merete Lutz, STAN; Jordan Anderson, UCLA; Samantha Bricio, USC; Courtney Schwan, WASH; McKenna Woodford, WSU.

PAC-12 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: MELANIE WADE, WASH (SR, MB, Palo Alto, Calif.)
Melanie Wade is the second-straight UW middle blocker to earn Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors after teammate Lianna Sybeldon garnered the award last week. Wade helped the then-No. 7 Huskies to a pair of wins at the Oklahoma Invitational, defeating Maryland (3-0) and Oklahoma (3-1). Against the Terps, she had four blocks and six kills, then followed up with seven blocks and a career-high tying 11 kills, as well as a .400 hitting percentage, against the Sooners. Wade averaged 2.43 kills, 1.57 blocks and 3.21 points per set. She also hit .333 over the two matches. It is Wade’s second-career defensive weekly honor, the first instance coming on Oct. 22, 2012. It is the 51st weekly nod for the Husky program and the 13th defense award, a Conference best.

Also Nominated: Halli Amaro, ARIZ; Anna Pfefferle, COLO; Haley Clarke, OSU; Halland McKenna, STAN; Jennie Frager, UCLA; Alicia Ogoms, USC; Kate Sommer, WSU.

PAC-12 FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK: MCKENNA WOODFORD, WSU (FR, OH, Chandler, Ariz.)
McKenna Woodford was named Most Valuable Player of the Texas Tech Lone Star Showdown after leading WSU to three-straight three-set wins over Northwestern State, Texas Tech and Portland State. The outside hitter hit .351 over the weekend, averaging 3.78 kills, 2.00 digs, 0.89 blocks and 4.28 points per set. She had a weekend-high 17 kills against the host Red Raiders, also recording an impressive .538 hitting percentage in that match, adding five digs and four blocks. She also recorded a double-double against PSU, tallying 11 kills and 10 digs, also adding three blocks. It is the fifth freshman of the week honor for Washington State all-time.

Also Nominated: Kendra Dahlke, ARIZ; Naghede Abu, COLO; Kayla Ellis, OSU; Hayley Hodson, STAN; Zana Muno, UCLA; Alyse Ford, USC.

2015 PAC-12 WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

  Offensive Defensive Freshman
Aug. 31 Samantha Bricio, USC Kalei Mau, ARIZ Hayley Hodson, STAN
Sept. 7 Samantha Bricio, USC Brenna DeYoung, UTAH Lindsey Vander Weide, ORE
Sept. 14 Samantha, Bricio, USC Lianna Sybeldon, WASH Zana Muno, UCLA
Sept. 21 Gabby Simpson, COLO Melanie Wade, WASH McKenna Woodford, WSU
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