Trojan Trio Sweeps Pac-12 Weekly Volleyball Awards|
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Oct. 7, 2013
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - USC women's volleyball seniors Alexis Olgard and Natalie Hagglund, and freshman Ebony Nwanebu swept Pac-12 weekly honors for the week of Sept. 30-Oct. 6. Olgard was named the Offensive Player of the Week and Hagglund received Defensive Player of the Week honors. Nwanebu was chosen for Freshman of the Week distinction for the third time, this season. Trojans also swept the weekly awards a year ago on Oct. 8, 2012.
Olgard and Hagglund's awards push the all-time USC total to 55 weekly conference awards. Hagglund, who was selected three times in 2012, receives the fourth weekly award of her career while Olgard takes home the first such honor of her career. Nwanebu brings USC its ninth all-time Pac-12 Freshman of the Week award. She was chosen for the award in the first week of the season and was honored again on Sept. 30. Only offensive and defensive weekly awards are counted in a team's total conference weekly honors.
All three Trojans were instrumental in USC's success, this weekend. The Women of Troy stunned a seventh-ranked Stanford squad and snapped the Cardinal's eight-match winning streak in a 3-0 sweep on Friday evening. The Trojans then battled out a tough five-set match with California and emerged victorious to preserve their own eight-match winning streak. With the wins, USC is off to its best start in league matches (4-0) since 2006 when it went 6-0.
Olgard was the Trojans' most efficient point producer as she generated 31.5 points of offense over the weekend. Through the two matches, she had 24 kills and hit an unthinkable .590 with just one error on 39 attempts. Olgard also scored 7.5 points on blocks (2 solo and 11 assists). Against the Cardinal, Olgard spurred the Trojans to an eight-point comeback in the third set as she finished with nine kills and zero errors for a .643 hitting percentage to go with five blocks. Against the Bears, Olgard was the catalyst that helped USC earn its eighth straight win as she had career highs in kills (15) and points (19.5) to go with eight blocks (one solo). Olgard averaged 3.00 kps and almost four points per set in the two matches.
Hagglund was the defensive heartbeat for the Trojans as she had 14 digs against the Cardinal and 28 more against the Golden Bears. Over the course of the two matches, she had 42 digs for a 5.25 dps average. Hagglund's court prowess helped the Trojans post a better hitting percentage than their opponent for the 15th time in 15 matches, this season. Hagglund also notched her 13th match in double digit kills, this season, and is closing in on becoming just the second USC player to cross the 2,000 career digs plateau. She currently has 1,959.
Nwanebu was incredibly efficient as she put up 34 kills with a .415 hitting percentage over USC's two wins. She averaged 4.25 kills per set, 0.88 blocks per set, and put up phenomenal freshman numbers with 4.81 points per set. Against Stanford, she had 13 kills (3e, 28att), hit .357, and added a service ace, three digs, and two blocks. Then, against Cal, Nwanebu posted career highs in kills (21) and points (23.5) as she finished with an incredible .459 hitting rate. With USC spreading the offense around to so many hitters, she became just the second Trojan to break the 20-kill plateau, this season, and led USC in kills for the seventh time.
Weekly awards have been selected every week of the season since the Pac-12 began sponsoring women's volleyball in 1986. It is the third year in which the conference has selected separate offensive, defensive, and rookie honorees.
The Women of Troy are 14-1 with a 4-0 record in Pac-12 matches and will open a four-match stretch on the road beginning with a 6 p.m. PT bout at Oregon State (9-6, 0-4) on Friday, Oct. 11, in Corvallis, Ore. For more information and a complete schedule, please visit USCTrojans.com.