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Women's Volleyball

Barber, Xue, Petrachi Earn Womens Volleyball Honors


Nele Barber and Yizhi Xue of Long Beach State joined UC Santa Barbara’s Emilia Petrachi as the recipients of this week’s women’s volleyball honors.

Barber Leads Beach To Weekend Sweep

Long Beach State senior Nele Barber (Berlin, Germany/Marquette) corralled her second Big West Women’s Volleyball Player of the Week award for this season as she averaged 4.50 kills and 4.67 digs per set in impressive conference victories over Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara.

The wins kept the Beach undefeated in Big West play at 4-0 alongside conference co-leader Hawai‘i.

Barber compiled all 15 of her kills versus the Mustangs in the first two sets.  She finished the match hitting .344 (15-4-32) with nine digs and a service ace in the three-set sweep.

The 6-1 outside hitter tallied 12 kills and a match-high 19 digs in a three-set victory over UC Santa Barbara.  It was her 12th double-double of the year.  Barber delivered six kills and six digs in the first set alone as the Beach clawed out a 28-26 triumph.  Barber also had three key kills in a 7-2 run that closed out the match.

Barber hit .290 for the week, with 27 kills and just nine errors in 62 attempts.  It is her sixth career Player of the Week honor, making her one of only 12 players in Big West history to accomplish the feat.

Others nominated: Taylor Gruenewald (Cal Poly); Chanel Hoffman (UC Santa Barbara)

Petrachi Anchors UC Santa Barbara Defense

UC Santa Barbara sophomore Emilia Petrachi (Modena, Italy/Liceo Classico San Carlo) earned her second Big West Women’s Volleyball Defensive Player of the Week award as she averaged 5.43 digs per set in a 1-1 conference split.

The 5-6 libero tallied 22 digs, her third 20-plus dig performance of the season, to help the Gauchos upend CSUN in four sets.  Her 5.50 digs per set average was her second-best single-match performance this year.  Petrachi’s defensive prowess helped limit the Matadors to a pair of sub-.200 hitting games.  She also had five assists and a pair of service aces.

Petrachi returned one night later with 16 digs and three assists in a loss to Long Beach State.  She has recorded 14 or more digs in seven of the last nine matches.

Others nominated: Katherine Brouker (Cal Poly); Katie Sato (CSUN); Malia Bolko (UC Davis); Luna Tsujimoto (UC Irvine)

Efficient Xue Helps Beach Sweep Foes

Long Beach State middle blocker Yizhi Xue (Nanjing, China/Nanjing No. 3 HS) hit .481 overall and recorded a career-high in kills to nab the Big West Women’s Volleyball Freshman Player of the Week award.

The 6-4 middle blocker posted a career-best 12 kills on .556 hitting in a sweep of UC Santa Barbara on Saturday.  She committed just two errors in 18 attempts, adding two digs and a block.

On Friday, Xue aided the Beach in a three-set win over Cal Poly with four kills, a dig and five blocks.  She had a career-best two solo blocks in the match. 

For the week, Xue averaged 2.67 kills and 1.00 blocks per set.

Others nominated: Nadia Retoff (Cal Poly); Melissa Eaglin (CSUN); Rowan Ennis (UC Santa Barbara)