Ashley Murray, Hailey Harward Earn Big West Weekly Honors
Murray and Harward showed great consistency last week, putting up a pair of strong performances in wins over UC Riverside and Hawai’i.
Long Beach, Calif. - Fresh off a 3-2 win over No. 12 Hawai’i on Saturday, Long Beach State women’s volleyball was rewarded with a pair of weekly honors from the Big West Conference on Monday. Junior middle blocker Ashley Murray was named the Big West Player of the Week for her performances in wins over UC Riverside and Hawai’i, while freshman libero Hailey Harward was deservedly given Defensive Player of the Week honors. It’s the third time this season that Long Beach State has had two winners in the same week, with Nele Barber and YiZhi Xue winning together in both prior instances.
Murray was very consistent this week offensively, hitting .385 in both wins. The 6-2 middle from Torrance had a career-high 17 kills in the win over Hawai’i, committing just two errors on 39 swings against UH’s vaunted block. She also had 13 kills and four blocks against UC Riverside, and led the Beach in blocking on the week with seven total.
This is the first Player of the Week award for Murray, who was a three-time Big West Freshman of the Week and once the Defensive POW during the 2014 season. Murray is the second 49er to claim this award this season, with Nele Barber winning twice already, including last week.
Harward was a star at libero last week, setting a new career high in digs in each match. The freshman from Phoenix, Ariz. had a match-high 23 digs at Riverside, then topped that performance with 27 against Hawai’i. She led a group of three 49ers with 20 or more digs against the Rainbow Wahine, making several memorable defensive plays to impress the 3,212 fans in attendance on Saturday night.
This is the first weekly award of Harward’s career, as she becomes the third straight LBSU freshman to win Big West Defensive Player of the Week, following Murray in 2014 and Mykah Wilson last year.
Long Beach State has now won six weekly awards this season, two more than any other school in the conference. LBSU stays home this week for just one match, Saturday at 7 p.m. against CSUN.
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