Ruddins Wins Third Consecutive Frosh Award
Lindsey Ruddins notched her third consecutive honor, and a pair of Long Beach State performers joined the awards parade as the women’s volleyball season marched on.
Barber Powers Beach to Three Wins
Long Beach State senior Nele Barber (Berlin, Germany/Marquette) captured her fifth career Big West Women’s Volleyball Player of the Week award as she keyed a win over a top-25 squad.
The 6-1 outside hitter averaged 4.39 kills, 2.94 digs and 1.06 blocks per set as the Beach posted a 3-1 record for the week, including wins over No. 25 Loyola Marymount, Duke and Pepperdine. Barber also hit .299 with a team-leading 79 kills.
Barber hit a sizzling .567 with 17 kills and no errors in a sweep of No. 25 Loyola Marymount to begin the week.
LBSU went 2-1 at the Baden Invitational as the team engaged in three straight five-set matches. Barber posted 19 kills on .255 hitting against Duke, nearly missing a triple-double with 14 digs and nine blocks.
Against the Waves, she had 22 kills, 19 digs and three blocks. Coming up agonizingly short against the Sun Devils in the tourney finale, Barber led all players in kills (21), digs (16) and service aces (3). She also hit .313 (21-6-48) versus Arizona State.
Barber led the team in kills in all four matches.
Others nominated: Alexis Clewis (Cal Poly); Madeline Schneider (Cal State Fullerton); Emily Allen (UC Davis); Chelsea Doyle (UC Riverside); Lindsey Ruddins (UC Santa Barbara); Nikki Taylor (Hawai‘i)
Xue Leads Beach Block
Averaging at least a block per set in four straight matches, Long Beach State middle blocker Yizhi Xue (Nanjing, China/Nanjing No. 3 HS) earned Big West Women’s Volleyball Defensive Player of the Week accolades.
The freshman’s defense helped the Beach to a 3-1 record with victories over No. 25 Loyola Marymount, Duke and Pepperdine.
Xue tallied a career-high 11 stuffs against Duke. She had five blocks (one solo) against the Lions, and five more versus the Waves.
In a bid to secure LBSU’s third straight five-set victory in the Baden Tournament, Xue provided six kills and eight blocks in a 3-2 setback to Arizona State. Her best offensive effort came against Pepperdine when she contributed nine kills.
Others nominated: Katherine Brouker (Cal Poly); Shimen Fayad (Cal State Fullerton); Emilia Petrachi (UC Santa Barbara); Savanah Kahakai (Hawai‘i)
Ruddins Three Peats as Top Freshman
Voted to her third straight all-tournament team, UC Santa Barbara outside hitter Lindsey Ruddins (Laguna Niguel, Calif./Aliso Niguel HS) also notched her third straight Big West Women’s Volleyball Freshman Player of the Week award with stellar all-around play.
Named the USF Challenge Tournament MVP, Ruddins led the Gauchos with 38 kills in three victories. She averaged 3.80 kills per set.
Ruddins had seven kills, six digs and three blocks to open the tournament in a sweep of Brown. Her .294 hitting percentage in that match was her second-best of the season. She piled on 20 kills to go along with eight digs in a 3-1 decision over St. John’s, handing the Red Storm their first loss of the season. She was particularly clutch in the third set, scoring three of UCSB’s final four points in a 25-22 win.
Against the host Dons, Ruddins posted 11 kills, five digs and two solo blocks in another three-set triumph.
Others nominated: Jessica McRoskey (Cal Poly); Heather Reed (UC Davis); Norene Iosia (Hawai‘i)