Barber, Kekauoha, Kessler Notch Women's Volleyball Awards
The women’s volleyball weekly honorees included Long Beach State junior Nele Barber, UC Irvine freshman Harlee Kekauoha and Cal Poly senior Nicole Kessler.
Barber Earns Third Player Of The Week Honor
For the third time this season, Long Beach State junior Nele Barber (Berlin, Germany/Marquette) secured the Big West Women’s Volleyball Player of the Week honor after leading her team’s offensive and defensive attack in a pair of wins.
The 6-0 outside hitter recorded her 18th and 19th double-doubles of the season to help the 49ers dispatch UC Irvine and UC Davis on the road in four sets.
Barber hit .293 (37-10-92) in the two wins, and averaged 4.63 kills and 4.38 digs per set.
She had 21 kills on .306 hitting against the Anteaters, and dug up 16 balls for her first double-double of the week. It also represented the fifth match Barber had 20-plus kills. Against the Aggies, Barber hit .279 with 16 kills and just four errors in 43 swings. She added 19 digs and three blocks as the 49ers improved to 19-5 overall and 9-2 in the Big West.
Others nominated: Taylor Nelson (Cal Poly); Kaylin Squyres (UC Davis); Shelley Anderson (UC Irvine); Emily Maglio (Hawai‘i)
Kekauoha Hits .460 To Help UC Irvine Split
UC Irvine opposite hitter Harlee Kekauoha (Long Beach, Calif./Wilson HS) collected Big West Women’s Volleyball Freshman Player of the Week accolades after hitting .460 in a pair of matches.
Kekauoha averaged 5.00 kills and 2.86 digs per set as the Anteaters lost in four sets to Long Beach State and swept CSUN.
Kekauoha posted a double-double with 15 kills and 14 digs against the 49ers while hitting .387 to go along with an ace.
She then put away a career-high 20 kills against CSUN on .531 hitting, her third-highest hitting percentage this year. She tallied another ace and added six digs with a block. Kekauoha has posted double-digit kills in 17 matches this season.
Others nominated: Peyton Grahovac (Long Beach State); Kelechi Ohiri (UC Davis); Chelsea Doyle (UC Riverside); Devin Joos (UC Santa Barbara)
Kessler Records Match-High In Digs In Win Over Rival
Cal Poly senior Nicole Kessler (San Diego, Calif./Patrick Henry HS) gathered Big West Women’s Volleyball Defensive Player of the Week honors as her play helped the Mustangs to a season sweep over Central Coast rival UC Santa Barbara.
The 5-9 libero scooped up a match-high 22 digs in a four-set victory over the Gauchos on Thursday. It was her sixth straight match with double-digit digs.
Kessler is now No. 4 all-time at Cal Poly in digs while her 253 total digs this season lead the team. The season sweep over UCSB was the first for Cal Poly since 2008.
Others nominated: Kaylin Squyres (UC Davis); Luna Tsujimoto (UC Irvine); Savanah Kahakai (Hawai‘i)