Long Beach State Duo, Aggie Matias Secure Weekly Honors
Long Beach State teammates Ashley Murray and Hailey Harward joined Lauren Matias of UC Davis as this week’s women’s volleyball award recipients.
Murray Leads Beach In Five-Set Thriller Against Hawai‘i
In a showdown for first place, Long Beach State junior Ashley Murray (Torrance, Calif./Bishop Montgomery HS) led her team to a five-set victory over No. 12 Hawai‘i to earn Big West Women’s Volleyball Player of the Week accolades.
With both clubs entering the match at 5-0 in conference play, Murray responded with 17 kills on .385 hitting to pace the Beach to 25-17, 23-25, 25-16, 21-25, 15-13 victory against their longtime island rival.
The 6-2 middle blocker also tallied three blocks and a dig in a match that sent 3,212 fans – the largest women’s volleyball attendance at the Walter Pyramid since 2001 – home happy.
Murray hit an identical .385 earlier in the week to help LBSU win a four-set match at UC Riverside. She tallied 13 kills to go along with four blocks (one solo) and four digs.
For the week, she averaged 3.33 kills and 0.56 blocks per game while leading the team in hitting and overall blocks (7 total).
Others nominated: Raeann Greisen (Cal Poly); Aima Eichie (UC Davis); Chanel Hoffman (UC Santa Barbara); Nikki Taylor (Hawai‘i)
Harward Leads Beach Defensive Effort
Averaging 5.56 digs per set in two important victories for Long Beach State, freshman Hailey Harward (Phoenix, Ariz./Desert Vista HS) captured Big West Women’s Volleyball Defensive Player of the Week honors.
The 5-9 libero was fantastic defensively for Long Beach State in its five-set victory Saturday over No. 12 Hawai‘i. She had a match-high and career-high 27 digs.
That effort eclipsed a career-best that she had totaled just three nights earlier at UC Riverside. She had 23 scoops in the four-set win against the Highlanders.
Harward led all players in both matches in digs, and also had six assists and a service ace in the Hawai‘i contest.
Others nominated: Katherine Brouker (Cal Poly); Katie Sato (CSUN); Malia Bolko (UC Davis); Elizabeth Sheffield (UC Santa Barbara); Nikki Taylor (Hawai‘i)
Matias Erupts In Four-Set Victory
A mammoth performance against Cal State Fullerton led to the selection of UC Davis outside hitter Lauren Matias (Santa Cruz, Calif./Harbor HS) as the Big West Women’s Volleyball Freshman Player of the Week.
The 6-2 Matias clubbed 34 kills in the four-set win against the Titans. She became the fourth Big West player in 2016 to surpass 30 kills in a match with the career-best effort. That total also ranked third in the NCAA among Division I players in a four-set match this year, and tied for the third-highest total in Aggie annals. The 34 kills also were the most by an Aggie in the rally-scoring era as all matches of 32 or more took place from 1992 to 1995.
Matias finished the match hitting a robust .458 (34-7-59) to go along with eight digs, four block assists, one assist and a service ace.
She collected 10 kills in a four-set loss to UC Santa Barbara two days prior. For the week, she averaged 5.50 kills and 1.50 digs per set while hitting .356 (44-13-87).
Others nominated: Hailey Harward (Long Beach State); Mickayla Sherman (UC Riverside); Rowan Ennis (UC Santa Barbara); Norene Iosia (Hawai‘i)