Sports

Stanford's Plummer named Pac-12 Volleyball Player of the Year

 
Jenna Gray was named Pac-12 Setter of the Year. Photo courtesy of Stanford Athletics.

Kathryn Plummer earned the Pac-12 Women's Volleyball Player of the Year award, Stanford teammate Jenna Gray was named Setter of the Year and Morgan Hentz was selected Libero of the Year as part of the annual conference awards announced by Commissioner Larry Scott.

Joining the trio on the all-Pac-12 Conference team were redshirt senior Merete Lutz and sophomore Audriana Fitzmorris. Junior Tami Alade earned honorable mention and outside hitter Meghan McClure landed on the All-Pac-12 Freshman Team.

Plummer becomes the 15th Cardinal to earn conference Player of the Year honors and the first since Alix Klineman in 2010. She is the first conference player to win Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons since Stanford's Bev Oden in 1989-90. Stanford has had 135 all-conference selections all-time, including honorable mention.

Plummer leads the Pac-12 and ranks in the top-10 in the nation in kills per set (4.70) and points per set (5.43). The sophomore is also third in the conference with 0.37 aces per set. She leads the team with eight double-doubles and has twice been named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week. She has registered 20 or more kills in 10 matches this season, including a career-best 28 in a five-set win over UCLA, and has hit .400 or better in 12 matches.

Gray is the second Stanford player to earn Setter of the Year honors since the award was established in 2011, joining three-time winner Madi Bugg (2013, 2014, 2015). She tops the league and is third nationally with 12.12 assists per set. She is also fifth in the league with 0.35 aces per set this season.

As a team, the Cardinal is the only Pac-12 squad hitting over .300 on the year at .312, seventh-best in the nation. Earning her first all-conference honors, Gray recently moved into the top-10 in program history with 2,397 career assists (ninth).

Hentz is the first Cardinal named the Libero of the Year since the award's inception in 2011. She leads the team with 4.03 digs per set and has just 11 reception errors on the season. Her 4.03 digs per set would be the eighth-best single season mark in school history.

The sophomore was the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 23 and was tabbed the 'Best Libero' at the Aggie Classic in September.

On November 16, she became the 18th Stanford player since 1986 to register 1,000 career digs. Hentz has recorded double-digit digs in 22 of the team's 29 matches this season, reaching the 20-dig plateau on four occasions.

Lutz earns her fourth straight all-conference accolades. The opposite is second on the team with 2.99 kills per set and third with 0.99 blocks per set.

She is ninth in the Pac-12 with a .324 season hitting percentage. In September, she became the 18th Stanford player since 1986 to notch 1,000 career kills. Her .351 career hitting percentage is the seventh-best mark in program history, while her 488 career blocks is eighth all-time in school history.

Fitzmorris, a middle blocker, leads the Pac-12 and is 17th in the nation with 1.46 blocks per set. She's also third in the conference with a .368 hitting percentage.

The sophomore was the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week on Nov. 20 after averaging 2.25 blocks per set against the Los Angeles schools. She has tallied six or more blocks in 12 matches this season and her .333 career hitting percentage would be the 10th-best mark in program history.

Alade earned her first career all-conference recognition. She's the only Pac-12 player hitting over .400 this season. Her .415 clip is 12th in the country.

Alade is also third in the conference with 1.43 blocks per set as Stanford leads the Pac-12 with a .177 opponent hitting percentage. The junior has tallied six or more blocks in 12 matches this season and had a career-high 17 kills at Colorado.

McClure is the 39th Stanford player to receive all-freshman accolades. She has 181 kills and 219 digs on the season. She is second on the team in digs per set (2.17) and is third with 27 service aces.

The outside hitter produced a career-high 13 kills at Washington State and has twice posted a career-best 17 digs in a match (at Washington State, vs. UCLA).

Oregon State's Kylee McLaughlin was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, while the Beavers' Mark Barnard was chosen as the Coach of the Year.

The Cardinal hosts CSU Bakersfield in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Friday 1 at 7 p.m. in Maples Pavilion. The winner meets the winner of the Colorado State-Michigan match on Saturday at 6 p.m.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics

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