Hagglund, Nwanebu, Olgard, and Bricio Earn Pac-12 All-Conference Honors|
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Dec. 3, 2013
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - The Pac-12 Conference announced its 2013 postseason awards on Tuesday, Dec. 3, and honored USC senior Natalie Hagglund for the third consecutive time as the league's Libero of the Year. Voted on by the conference's 12 head coaches, the league selected Ebony Nwanebu as the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year to make her the seventh Trojan to win the award and the third USC frosh in four years.
Hagglund and Nwanebu were each named to the Pac-12 All-Conference Team and were joined by sophomore outside hitter Samantha Bricio who received her second nod for all-league honors, and senior middle blocker Alexis Olgard who earned her first award after she received honorable mention status as a junior. Olgard was a member of the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team in 2010.
The Women of Troy were represented by four players on the all-conference team for the sixth time in program history and had the most players on the squad ahead of Stanford's three. Other awards handed out went to the Cardinal's Madi Bugg who was chosen for Setter of the Year, Washington's Krista Vansant who was named Player of the Year, and Husky head coach Jim McLaughlin who took home his fourth Pac-12 Coach of the Year award.
Hagglund leads the league in digs with 5.43 dps (14th in the country) and far outpaces the next closest player who has 5.06 dps (Kyle Gilbert, Stanford). She became USC's all-time career leader in digs (2,292) and is within striking distance of the Pac-12 career record. Hagglund owns three of the Trojans' top five single-season digs records and four of the top 10. She has posted three 30-dig performances this season and has 10 in her career. Her work off the court combined with her athletic achievements made her one of 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award. With her selection to the All-Pac-12 Team, she becomes just the 10th USC player to receive three all-conference certificates in her career and is the only player on the All-Pac-12 Team this season to own three career honors. Hagglund has won the Libero of the Year award in each of the three years since its inception (2011-13).
Nwanebu burst onto the scene and was chosen for Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors in the first week of the season. She went on to win a league-record six Freshman of the Week awards and now becomes the seventh USC player to win Freshman of the Year honors (Jasmina Marinkovic, 1995; Antoinette Polk, 1997; April Ross, 2000; Taylor Carico, 2006; Falyn Fonoimoana, 2010; Bricio, 2012). Nwanebu's .354 hitting percentage in league matches ranks fifth and makes her the only freshman and the only non-middle blocker to rank in the top 10. She is 11th in the conference for kills (3.38 kps) and points (3.87 pps) and has led the Trojans in scoring 10 times this season.
Bricio is the national leader in service aces (0.69 saps) and has collected 74 this year to become the Trojans' single-season record holder (fourth in Pac-12 history). She also climbed into USC's career ladder for aces and sits at fifth with 117 in just two seasons. Bricio served six aces in a single match twice this season and has recorded at least three in a match 11 times. She is the conference's eighth-leading scorer at 4.48 pps and averages 3.45 kps to lead USC. Bricio was chosen for Pac-12 Player of the Week honors on Nov. 4 and received the MVP award in two of the Trojans' pre-conference tournaments.
Olgard ranks third in the Pac-12 and 10th in the country for hitting percentage (.430) and is fifth in the conference for blocks (1.28 bps). She is also third on the team with 2.50 kps and was chosen for Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week (Oct. 7) when she logged 24 kills on 39 attempts with just one error for an astronomical .590 hitting percentage. Olgard has posted career marks in several statistical categories this season and was chosen to the Marquette Challenge All-Tournament Team.
Pizzasegola has produced solid numbers in her first year in USC's system not to mention her first year in the country. Working with junior setter Hayley Crone in a 6-2 offense, Pizzasegola averages 5.70 assists per set and digs up 1.31 balls per set. Her selection to the All-Freshman Team marks the fifth time that USC has had at least two players named to the first-year all-league squad. Ruddins has come on strong in the back half of the season and has become one of the Trojans' go-to options on the attack. She is third on the team with 2.43 kps and is part of a daunting USC block. Ruddins' 24 kills in a match against UCSB (Sept. 14) is the most in a single match by any player on the team this year.
The sixth-seeded Trojans (26-5) finished with a 16-4 record in the Pac-12 for third place and were selected to host NCAA first- and second-round matches at Galen Center. USC will face New Hampshire (20-12) in the first round at 7:30 p.m. PT on Thursday, Dec. 5. Please visit USCTrojans.com for more information.