Ebony Nwanebu Wins Record Sixth Pac-12 Freshman of the Week Award|
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Dec. 2, 2013
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - USC freshman outside hitter Ebony Nwanebu was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week for the week of Nov. 25-Dec. 1. The first-year Trojan was honored by the conference for a record sixth time and surpasses the old record of five, set by Samantha Bricio in 2012. Nwanebu's award gives USC 12 all-time, which is the most for any school since the award's inception in 2011. Nwanebu was chosen alongside Stanford's Inky Ajanaku who was the Offensive Player of the Week, and Arizona's Candace Nicholson who was named Defensive Player of the Week.
Nwanebu was chosen for her performance in the first week of the season and fellow freshman outside hitter Elise Ruddins won the honor for the week of Sept. 9-15. Nwanebu then repeated Sept. 30, Oct. 7, and Oct. 14 to become the first player ever to be honored in three consecutive weeks. She was also selected for the week of Nov. 10.
Nwanebu was the model of efficiency as she hit .426 from the right side with 23 kills (3e, 47att) to help the Trojans get a pair of 3-0 wins against UCLA and Colorado. Despite playing in a 6-2 system, Nwanebu made the most of each of her swings and reached double digits in kills for the 10th straight match (21st this season). She confounded the Bruins as she put up 12 kills (1e) on 23 attacks for a .478 hitting percentage to go with four digs and a block, and then scored 11 kills (2e, 24att) for a .375 hitting rate against the Buffaloes to go with two blocks. In Pac-12 matches, she is the only outside hitter and the only freshman to rank in the top 10 (at No. 5) for hitting percentage with a .354 mark.
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. USC has 57 all-time player of the week honors and 12 freshman of the week certificates.
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.
ALL-TIME USC PAC-12 WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL FRESHMEN OF THE WEEK