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Dani Drews Named Pac-12 Player of the Year

Apr 7, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY – Senior outside hitter Dani Drews has become the first University of Utah Volleyball student-athlete to be named Pac-12 Player of the Year, the Pac-12 Conference announced on Wednesday, April 7.
Drews has had a dominant season leading Utah in kills in every single match and leading the Pac-12 in kills per set with 5.14. She was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week twice, while she totaled 324 kills in 17 matches. Out of the 17 matches, Drews had seven matches with at least 20 kills and two with 30 kills.
"For Dani to earn this award during this unique season is a testament to her as an athlete and a person," head coach Beth Launiere said. "She handled adversity well and continued to perform at a high level week after week. We're proud of Dani and it is a great honor to our program to a have a Pac-12 Player of the Year."
Drews, who also named to the All-Pac-12 Team for the third year in a row, was joined on the All-Pac-12 Team by fellow senior Kenzie Koerber. It's the second time that Koerber has been named to the All-Pac-12 Team.
Saige Ka'aha'aina-Torres and Madelyn Robinson were both named All-Pac-12 honorable mention.
"I'm so pleased for all four of our players to be honored as All-Conference by the Pac-12," Launiere said. "Dani led the Pac-12 in kills during the season from start to finish and does so much for us in every aspect of the game and on our team. Kenzie is one of the top all-around players in the conference and is recognized for this by the Pac-12 coaches. Saige finished the year as the leader in the Pac-12 in assists per set and was top ten in digs per set, the only setter to do this in the conference. She is definitely one of the top setters in the Pac-12. Madi came into our program and added great value from the start and I'm so happy that the Pac-12 coaches recognized her significance to our team."
Koerber finished the regular season with 153 kills hitting .267. She led the team with 26 service aces and led the Pac-12 averaging .47 service aces per set. Koerber is strong on defense as well finishing third on the team with 42.0 blocks and fourth in digs with 159.
Ka'aha'aina-Torres had one of the best seasons as a setter in the Pac-12, leading the conference in assists per set at 10.52. She also was the only setter in the top 10 for digs per set averaging 3.16. She led Utah with 199 digs on the season and had a season high of 23 digs against Colorado. It is her second season finishing with All-Pac-12 honorable mention honors.
Robinson had a really strong finish to the season for Utah and ended up totaling 125 kills, while hitting .265. Over the final seven matches, she had double-figure kills in five of them with the other two matches finishing with nine kills. It is her first All-Pac-12 honorable mention honor.
The Utes overall finished 13-4 overall on the season and third in the Pac-12. That effort earned them the 14 seed in the NCAA Tournament and gives them a first-round bye. They will play the winner of the Pittsburgh and Long Island match on Thursday, April 15 at 8:30 p.m. MT in Omaha, Nebraska.
The rest of the Pac-12 award winners are listed below:
Player of the Year: Dani Drews, UTAH
Freshman of the Year: Sofia Maldonado Diaz, ARIZ
Setter of the Year: Ella May Powell, WASH
Libero of the Year: Zoe Fleck, UCLA
Coach of the Year: Keegan Cook, WASH
All-Pac-12 Team
Caitie Baird, Stanford
Brooke Botkin**, USC
Samantha Drechsel, Washington
Dani Drews***, Utah
Zoe Fleck, UCLA
Claire Hoffman, Washington
Magda Jehlarova*, Washington State
Kenzie Koerber**, Utah
Sofia Maldonado, Arizona
Grace Massey, Oregon State
Mac May***, UCLA
Ella May Powell**, Washington
Élan McCall, UCLA
Gloria Mutiri, Oregon
Iman Ndiaye, UCLA
Brooke Nuneviller, Oregon
Hannah Pukis. Washington State
Pia Timmer, Washington State
Pac-12 All-Freshman Team
Sofia Maldonado, Arizona
Madi Endsley, Washington
Iman Ndiaye, UCLA
Caitie Baird, Stanford
Marta Levinska, Arizona State
Julianna Dalton, Washington State
Lydia Grote, California
All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention:
Rachael Fara, Colorado
Lauren Sanders, Washington 
Marin Grote, Washington
Saige Ka'aha'aina-Torres, Utah
Karson Bacon, Oregon
Leah Clayton, Colorado
Meegan Hart, Colorado
Georgia Murphy, Oregon
Iman Isanovic, Arizona State
Sterling Parker, Colorado
Aleksandra Gryka, USC
Madelyn Robinson, Utah
Emily Ryan, UCLA
Elena Oglivie, Stanford
Merle Weidt, Arizona