Vansant, Haley Receive AVCA Region Honors
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. — Eleven Pac-12 volleyball players were named to the AVCA All-Pacific Region team, led by four selections from USC, the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced Tuesday. WASHINGTON's Krista Vansant was also tabbed the Pacific Region Freshman of the Year. USC head coach Mick Haley was named the AVCA's Pacific Region Coach of the Year.
Krista Vansant (Redlands, Calif.) was the top-hitting freshman in the Pac-12, averaging 3.69 kills per set, en route to being named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year at the conclusion of the regular season. A starter in every match, she ranked in the top 10 in kills and points per set (4.17), helping the Huskies to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Vansant was voted the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week a league-high three times this season.
In his 11th season at USC, Mick Haley is the Pacific Region Coach of the Year after leading the Trojans to a No. 1 national ranking, the Pac-12 Championship title and a second-straight NCAA Tournament Regional semifinal. It was the first league title since 2003 for the Women of Troy and their fourth Conference crown all-time. USC won a Pac-12-record 20 league matches, posting a mark of 20-2, and went 25-4 overall, the program's third-consecutive 20-win season. Haley is a member of the AVCA Hall of Fame and has over 800-career wins.
USC's regional honorees were seniors Kendall Bateman, Alex Jupiter and Lauren Williams, and sophomore Natalie Hagglund. STANFORD had the second-most selections, with sophomores Rachel Williams and Carly Wopat each earning a nod for the first time in their careers. OREGON's Alaina Bergsma, WASHINGTON STATE's Meagan Ganzer UCLA's Rachael Kidder, CALIFORNIA's Tarah Murrey and WASHINGTON's Bianca Rowland were also named to the all-region squad.
On top of being named all-region, Jupiter was the 2012 Pac-12 Player of the Year, Bateman was the Pac-12 Setter of the Year and Hagglund was the Pac-12 Libero of the Year. The setter and libero honors were selected for the first time ever in the Pac-12.
Earning honorable mention honors were USC junior Katie Fuller, Cal junior Shannon Hawari, ARIZONA senior Cursty Jackson and Oregon sophomore Lauren Plum.
UCLA and USC are both headed to the NCAA Tournament regional semifinals this weekend, Friday, Dec. 9. Seeded seventh overall, the Trojans face 10th-seeded Hawai'I in Honolulu. The Bruins travel to Lexington to take on eighth-seeded and four-time defending national champion Penn State. Both matches can be seen live on ESPN3.com. The regional finals will be televised on ESPNU on Saturday, Dec. 10.