Four Trojans Earn AVCA All-Pacific South Region Honors|
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Dec. 10, 2013
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced its annual all-region teams on Tuesday (Dec. 10) and honored four Trojans on the All-Pacific South Region Team. Senior libero Natalie Hagglund received her third all-region honor and was joined by sophomore outside hitter Samantha Bricio who is now a two-time selection. Senior middle blocker Alexis Olgard received her first spot on the team along with freshman outside hitter Ebony Nwanebu who was also chosen for Pacific South Region Freshman of the Year Honors.
Each of the Women of Troy is now eligible to be selected for AVCA All-America honors and Nwanebu is also in the running to be named the National Freshman of the Year.
USC's four selections topped all schools in the Pacific South. San Diego (Alaysia Brown, Chloe Ferrari) and Cal State Northridge (Sydney Gedryn, Casey Hinger) each had two players on the team while six other schools had one player each. USD head coach Jennifer Petrie was selected as the region's Coach of the Year.
Nwanebu was honored as the only freshman on the 14-player all-region team and is the Trojans' fifth all-time regional freshman of the year honoree. She follows directly on the heels of Bricio's selection in 2012 and joins Falyn Fonoimoana (2010), Taylor Carico (2006), and April Ross (2000).
A two-time All-American, Hagglund is the only player on the all-region team to receive her third award. She was chosen to her third All-Pac-12 Team and was named the Pac-12's Libero of the Year for the third time this season. Hagglund became USC's all-time career leader in digs (now with 2,310) and owns three of USC's top five single-season marks for digs (four of the top 10). As the Trojans' captain, Hagglund is also a leader in the classroom and was honored on the CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-District 8 Team and as an honorable mention member of the Pac-12 All-Academic team. She earned her fourth and fifth Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors this year and is a finalist for the prestigious Senior CLASS Award. Hagglund leads the Pac-12 in digs (5.30 dps) and ranks 18th in the nation. Her career dig total ranks third in Pac-12 history and she is within 75 digs of the conference's career record holder.
Bricio received the most votes among outside hitters for the regional team and was also honored on the Pac-12 all-conference team this season. She was chosen for Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honors on Nov. 4 and was twice chosen as the most valuable player in pre-conference tournaments. Bricio rewrote the USC record books this season as she claimed the top single-season mark in service aces and has 80 to date. The 80 aces also ties the third highest single-season total in Pac-12 history; a mark that had stood since 1987. In under two seasons, she has moved into fifth in career aces at USC and is on the verge of cracking the top 10 in career points. Bricio (0.71 saps) leads the nation in service aces and has had 12 matches with three of more aces this season.
Olgard has enjoyed the best season of her career and has produced career highs in several categories. She was chosen for Pac-12 All-Conference honors and received the league's Offensive Player of the Week award for Oct. 7 when she logged 24 kills on 39 attempts with just one error for an astronomical .590 hitting percentage. She recorded a career-high 15 kills against Stanford (Oct. 30) and had a career-high 12 blocks at Washington State (Nov. 17). Olgard ranks third in the conference and 10th in the country for hitting percentage (.437) and is fifth in the Pac-12 for blocks (1.27 bps). She has led the team in blocks in 17 matches this season and was selected to the Marquette Challenge All-Tournament team.
Nwanebu is one of the most dominant first-year players the program has ever seen. She was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and was chosen to the Pac-12 All-Conference Team as well as the league's all-freshman team. She won the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year award a record-breaking six times and was chosen to the Mortar Board Premier All-Tournament Team. She is the only non-middle blocker and the only freshman to rank in the Pac-12's top 10 for hitting percentage (.339) and has reached double digits in kills 21 times this season. She reached a career-high 21 kills twice and totaled 24.0 points in USC's five-set road victory over Stanford.
Seeded sixth, USC (28-5) will host BYU (24-6) in an NCAA Los Angeles Regional semifinal match at 7 p.m. PT on Friday, Dec. 13, at Galen Center. The region's top seed No. 3 Washington (28-2) will face 14th-seeded Kansas (25-7) in the other semifinal match at 5 p.m. PT. Winning teams will advance to face each other in the regional championship match set for Saturday, Dec. 14, at 8:30 p.m. PT.
Both semifinals will be broadcast live on ESPN3 and the championship match will be carried live by ESPNU. Sam Gore will serve as the broadcast play-by-play announcer with Holly McPeak as the color analyst.
The winner of the regional championship receives one of four coveted national semifinal spots in Seattle. The University of Washington and the Seattle Sports Commission in conjunction with Key Arena will serve as co-hosts of the 2013 NCAA Championship with semifinals set for Thursday, Dec. 19 (4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. PT), and the championship match set for 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 21. All matches at the championship site will be carried live on ESPN2.
Fans can purchase all-session tickets good for all three matches at the regional championship on GetTrojanTix.com or by calling (213) 740-GOSC. Tickets are $20 for adults, and $15 for children (3 years and up), seniors, and students with a valid ID. All tickets are reserved seating.