WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - The Pac-12 Conference office announced today the Pac-12 Volleyball Players of the Week for the opening week of the season. UCLA’s Karsta Lowe was named the Conference’s Offensive Player of the Week, UTAH’s Erin Redd-Brandon was voted the Defensive Player of the Week and USC’s Ebony Nwanebu was tabbed the league’s Freshman of the Week.

Junior outside hitter Karsta Lowe (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.) averaged 5.65 points, 5.20 kills and 0.80 blocks per set, while hitting .557, helping the Bruins get off to a 3-0 start, as well as claim the LMU Invitational title. The .557 hitting efficiency is more than 250 points above her career hitting percentage going into the season (.304). Lowe recorded double figures in kills in all three matches, including a high of 23 against host Loyola Marymount to close out the weekend, hitting 51.4 percent in the match with four total blocks. In the season opener against five-time America East Champion Albany, Lowe had 11 kills with just one error on 22 attempts (.455), then again had the hot hand, hitting 72.7 against North Texas in the second match of the weekend, tallying 18 kills on 22 attempts with just two errors.

UTAH’s Erin Redd-Brandon (Spanish Fork, Utah) earns the Ute’s first-ever player of the week honor in volleyball. She nabs the weekly defensive nod averaging 1.69 blocks per set, leading Utah to a 3-0 opening weekend with wins over Utah State (3-2), Fairfield (3-1) and Northern Iowa (3-1) to claim the Utah Classic crown. Redd-Brandon was eager to get on the court for the opening match, coming up with 12 block assists in just the first match against in-state rival Utah State. Redd-Brandon had 22 blocks in total for the weekend, also adding 3.46 points and 2.46 kills per set, while hitting .287.

Freshman Ebony Nwanebu (Lucas, Texas) averaged 3.75 kills, 1.12 blocks and 4.44 points per set as she helped the Women of Troy defeat No. 16 Purdue (3-1), No. 21 Western Kentucky (3-0) and Alabama A&M (3-0) to claim the Mortar Board Premier Tournament in West Lafayette, Ind. She was also named to the all-tournament team. In her first-ever collegiate appearance, Nwanebu hit .424 and had a team-high of 15 kills with just one error in 33 attempts, and 20 points to help USC come back from a one-set deficit against the host-Boilermakers in front of a hostile crowd of over 2,600. She also contributed eight blocks in the match. Nwanebu also had another solid performance against the Hill Toppers with 13 kills with one two errors on 24 attempts to post a .458 hitting percentage.

It is the first-career weekly honor for Lowe, UCLA’s 64th all-time and the fourth offensive nod for the Bruins all-time. USC also garners the freshman award for the sixth time ever.

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

The Bruins hit the road to play three matches, at the Wahine Volleyball Classic, Sept. 5-7. The Trojans will head to the midwest to play a pair of matches at the Marquette Challenge on Sept. 6, then play at Northern Illinois on Sept. 7. The Utes also go on the road for the North Texas Tournament, Sept. 6-7.


Also Nominated:

OFFENSIVE: Jane Croson, ARIZ; Macey Gardner, ASU; Adrienne Gehan, CAL; Alexis Austin, COLO; Martenne Bettendorf, ORE; Sara Almen, OSU; Karsta Lowe, UCLA; Samantha Bricio, USC; Shelby Dalton, UTAH; Carly Wopat, STAN; Krista Vansant, WASH; Kyra Holt, WSU.

DEFENSIVE: Candace Nicholson, ARIZ; Stephanie Preach, ASU; Lilian Schonewise, CAL; Nikki Lindow, COLO; Amanda Benson, ORE; Arica Nassar, OSU; Kelly Reeves, UCLA; Natalie Hagglund, USC; Carly Wopat, STAN; Kylin Muñoz, WASH; Jaicee Harris, WSU.

FRESHMAN: Penina Snuka, ARIZ; BreElle Bailey, ASU; Maddy Kerr, CAL; Cierra Simpson, COLO; Amanda Benson, ORE; Lila Toner, OSU; Claire Felix, UCLA; Kyra Holt, WSU.


2013 Pac-12 Women's Volleyball Players of the Week

  Offensive Defensive Freshman
Sept. 2 Karsta Lowe, UCLA Erin Redd-Brandon, UTAH Ebony Nwanebu, USC


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