California's Brown, Stanford's Wopat and Howard named Pac-12 players of the week

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By the Pac-12 Conference

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- The Pac-12 Conference office announced today the Pac-12 Volleyball Players of the Week for the week of Oct. 29-Nov. 4. STANFORD's Carly Wopat was named the Offensive Player of the Week, CALIFORNIA's Kat Brown was voted the Defensive Player of the Week, and STANFORD's Brittany Howard was selected the Freshman of the Week.

Junior Carly Wopat (Santa Barbara, Calif.) led Stanford to a pair of road sweeps at Oregon State and No. 2 Oregon to help the Cardinal improve to 22-2 overall and 14-0 in Pac-12 play. Wopat hit an impressive .700 over the two matches, averaging 3.67 kills, 5.00 points and 2.17 blocks per set. At OSU, Wopat registered a career high .706 hitting percentage, putting down 12 kills on 17 swings with no errors. She also registered four blocks, three digs and an ace against the Beavers. In front of a pro-Ducks crowd of over 5,000 in Eugene, she led the team with 10 kills and hit .692 while collecting a match-high nine blocks. Stanford has won 20-consecutive matches, marking the longest winning streak under 12th-year head coach John Dunning and for the program since 1999. Wopat leads the Pac-12 with a .405 hitting percentage.

Senior middle hitter Kat Brown's (Aptos, Calif.) defensive efforts helped the Golden Bears to a five-set, upset win over second-ranked Oregon, followed by a four-set victory at Oregon State over the weekend. Brown opened the weekend posting five blocks against the Ducks, also adding a par of kills, two digs and an assist. Against the Beavers, she registered a season-high nine blocks. She also had four kills and an assist in the win. Brown averaged 1.56 blocks per set over the two matches.

Freshman outside hitter Brittany Howard (Los Altos, Calif.) was a key reason Stanford posted two 3-0 wins at Oregon State and at No. 2 Oregon, the first time this season the Cardinal recorded sweeps in back-to-back road matches. Howard posted 3.67 kills, 2.67 digs and 4.42 points per set while hitting .328 in the two matches, all well above her season average in every category. Against OSU, she posted a match-high and career-high 14 kills, and added 13 digs for her fifth double-double of the season. Against UO, the rookie tallied eight kills on a .333 hitting percentage and totaled four blocks and a service ace. The win extends Stanford's current winning streak to 20, the program's longest winning streak since 1999.

It is Wopat's fourth-career weekly nod and Stanford's 83rd weekly honor all-time. It is Brown's second-career defensive weekly selection and Cal's 33rd all-time. Howard earns the rookie nod for the first time this season. It is the fifth time this season a Stanford freshman has received the weekly award.

Weekly awards have been selected every week of the season since the Conference began sponsoring women's volleyball in 1986. It is the second year the Pac-12 has announced an offensive, defensive and rookie honoree.

The Cardinal and Golden Bears will be visited by Washington and Washington State this week. The top-ranked team in the nation, Stanford takes on the Cougars on Wednesday, Nov. 7, while California hosts the Huskies on ESPNU that evening at 7 p.m. PT. Both teams wrap up the week on Thursday, Nov. 8.

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Also Nominated:
OFFENSIVE: Madi Kingdon, ARIZ; Macey Gardner, ASU; Shannon Hawari, CAL; Alexis Austin, COLO; Alaina Bergsma, ORE; Tabi Love, UCLA; Samantha Bricio, USC; Krista Vansant, WASH; Ver'Leea Hardaway, WSU.

DEFENSIVE: Ronni Lewis, ARIZ; Stephanie Preach, ASU; Chelsey Keoho, COLO; Haley Jacob, ORE; Carly Wopat, STAN; Natalie Hagglund, USC; Jenna Orlandini, WASH; Kate Sommer, WSU.

FRESHMAN: Olivia Magill, ARIZ; Macey Gardner, ASU; Alexis Austin, COLO; Martenne Bettendorf, ORE; Becca Strehlow, UCLA; Samantha Bricio, USC; Melanie Wade, WASH; Kate Sommer, WSU.

2012 Pac-12 Women's Volleyball Players of the Week
  Offensive Defensive Freshman
Aug. 27 Alaina Bergsma, ORE Arica Nassar, OSU Samantha Bricio, USC
Sept. 3 Krista Vansant, WASH Karsta Lowe, UCLA Samantha Bricio, USC
Sept. 10 Camille Saxon, OSU Becky Defore, OSU Madi Bugg, STAN
Sept. 17 Arica Nassar, OSU Marcelina Glab, WSU Macey Gardner, ASU
Sept. 24 Lauren Plum, ORE Jordan Burgess, STAN Jordan Burgess, STAN
Oct. 1 Krista Vansant, WASH Amanda Gil, WASH Macey Gardner, ASU
Oct. 8 Samantha Bricio, USC Natalie Hagglund, USC Samantha Bricio, USC
Oct. 15 Alaina Bergsma, ORE Kyle Gilbert, STAN Inky Ajanaku, STAN
Oct. 22 Carly Wopat, STAN Melanie Wade, WASH Samantha Bricio, USC
Oct. 29 Tabi Love, UCLA Natalie Hagglund, USC Inky Ajanaku, STAN
Nov. 5 Carly Wopat, STAN Kat Brown, CAL Brittany Howard, STAN



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