Pac-12 volleyball postseason honors announced

Washington Athletics

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - The Pac-12 Conference announced its postseason volleyball awards today. WASHINGTON junior outside hitter Krista Vansant has been named the Pac-12 Conference Volleyball Player of the Year, USC outside hitter Ebony Nwanebu has been voted as the Pac-12 Conference Freshman of the Year, and WASHINGTON’s Jim McLaughlin was voted Pac-12 Conference Volleyball Coach of the Year, Commissioner Larry Scott announced Tuesday. In addition, USC senior Natalie Hagglund was voted the Pac-12 Conference Libero of the Year for the third-consecutive year, while STANFORD sophomore Madi Bugg was tabbed the Pac-12 Conference Setter of the Year.

Vansant is the third Husky all-time to earn the Player of the Year honor and the first since Sanja Tomasevic and Christal Morrison won the honor in 2005 and 2006, respectively. A junior outside hitter from Redlands, Calif., Vansant had led the Huskies to claim the regular-season Pac-12 crown, the team’s third all-time and first since winning back-to-back titles in 2004 and 2005. Vansant is averaging 4.31 kills per set to rank fifth in the Conference, seventh in aces per set (0.30) and second in points per set with 4.99, which also ranks 15th in the nation. She has been named Pac-12 Offensive PLayer of the Week four times and the Defensive Player of the Week once. She was also selected the AVCA National Player of the Week on Nov. 19. With this year’s selection, Vansant is a two-time All-Pac-12 pick and was a second team AVCA All-American last year.

Nwanebu is the second-straight Trojan to be named the Conference’s Freshman of the Year after teammate Samantha Bricio earned the honor last year. She is also the third Trojan in four years to earn the nod and the seventh all-time. Nwanebu won Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors six times, a Pac-12 record, and is the only freshman to be named to the all-Conference team this season. Nwanebu helped USC place third in the Pac-12 standings and still had a chance to win the Conference crown going into the final weekend. She is averaging 3.38 kills per set with a .335 hitting percentage, while contributing 3.87 points per set, which is second best on the team.

A native of Apex, N.C., Bugg leads the Pac-12 with an 11.88 assists per set average, while also leading a Stanford offense that is recording 14.83 kills per set, which ranks seventh in the nation. Her assists average ranks seventh in the country. There have only been seven 60-assists outings in the Pac-12 this season, who of which were recorded by Bugg. Helping the Cardinal to a second-place showing in the Pac-12 standings and just a game back of claiming the title, Stanford is the No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Hagglund is the only player to earn the Pac-12 Libero of the Year honor, winning the award for a third-straight year in the three years of the award. Anchoring the defense that helped the Trojans to a third-place finish in the Pac-12 and a fifth-straight 20-win season, the Encinitas, Calif., native has posted two of the Conference’s top-three digs performances this season. Hagglund leads the Pac-12 and ranks 14th in the nation with 5.43 digs per set. She is a three-time All-Pac-12 selection and became the first Trojan libero to earn first team All-America recognition in 2011, earning the honor again in 2012. Only the ninth player in Pac-12 history to amass 2,000 digs, Hagglund has collected 2,292 digs in her career, ranking third all-time in Conference history and first in the USC record book.

Jim McLaughlin is voted the Coach of the Year for the fourth time in his career after earning the honor in 2002, 2004 and 2005. He has led the Huskies to the program’s third league title and first since claiming the Conference crown in 2004 and 2005. The Huskies have posted a 26-2 overall record, the most wins since 2008. Their 18 league wins are a program record, as well. He has also led Washington to a No. 1 ranking in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll this season (Sept. 30) and a No. 3 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. McLaughlin is in his 13th season at the Husky helm. After UW posted an 11-16 overall mark in his first season in 2001, the Huskies have posted 20-win campaigns every season since then, including a 32-win season in 2005, the same season UW won the NCAA title.


Inky Ajanaku, STAN MB 6-3 So. Tulsa, Okla.
Liz Brenner, ORE** OH 6-1 Jr. Portland, Ore.
Samantha Bricio, USC** OH 6-2 So. Guadalajara, Mexico
Jordan Burgess, STAN** OH 6-1 So. Fort Meyers, Fla.
Macey Gardner, ASU** OH 6-1 So. Gilbert, Ariz.
Adrienne Gehan, CAL OH 6-3 Sr. Dallas, Texas
Natalie Hagglund, USC*** L 5-9 Sr. Encinitas, Calif.
Madi Kindgon, ARIZ OH 6-1 Jr. Phoenix, Ariz.
Karsta Lowe, UCLA OH 6-4 Jr. Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
Kaleigh Nelson, WASH OH 6-2 Jr. Salem, Ore.
Ebony Nwanebu, USC OH 6-4 Fr. Lucas, Texas
Alexis Olgard, USC MB 6-5 Sr. Spokane, Wash.
Krista Vansant, WASH** OH 6-2 Jr. Redlands, Calif.
Carly Wopat, STAN*** MB 6-2 Sr. Santa Barbara, Calif.

** two-time selection; *** three-time selection

Honorable Mention: Madi Bugg, STAN; Joan Caloiaro, CAL; Nicole Edelman, COLO; Christina Higgins, CAL; Kyra Holt, WSU; Brittany Howard, STAN; Jenna Orlandini, WASH; Lauren Plum, ORE; Erin Redd-Brandon, UTAH; Kelly Reeves, UCLA; Taylor Simpson, COLO; Lianna Sybeldon, WASH; Ariana Williams, ORE; Rachel Williams, STAN.


BreElle Bailey, ASU MB 6-4 Highland, Utah
Amanda Benson, ORE L 5-7 Litchfield Park, Ariz.
Kyra Holt, WSU OH 6-1 Hercules, Calif.
Maddy Kerr, CAL DS 5-7 San Diego, Calif.
Ebony Nwanebu, USC OH 6-4 Lucas, Texas
Alice Pizzasegola, USC S 5-10 Rivergaro, Italy
Penina Snuka, ARIZ S 5-6 Gilbert, Ariz.

Honorable Mention: Emmy Allen, WSU; Hailey Bethune, WSU; Claire Felix, UCLA; Elise Ruddins, USC; Cierra Simpson, COLO; Tess Sutton, UTAH; Lila Toner, OSU.

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