Hailey Harward Leads LBSU All-Big West Selections
Sophomore Hailey Harward was named a First Team All-Big West performer on Monday, one of four Long Beach State women's volleyball players to be recognized by the conference.
IRVINE, Calif. - Long Beach State had four players receive All-Big West honors on Monday, as the conference office announced the 2017 Big West Women's Volleyball All-Conference Team. All four honorees are returning players for the Beach, led by sophomore Hailey Harward, who was named to the first team. Junior Megan Kruidhof and sophomore YiZhi Xue picked up honorable mention distinction and freshman Radi Marinova was named to the All-Freshman Team.
Harward was a member of last year's All-Freshman Team, and this year makes the jump to First Team All-Big West. Though she ended the season at outside hitter, Harward is recognized as a defensive specialist on the first team. The sophomore from Phoenix led the Beach with 3.65 digs per set this season, but was at 3.97 digs per set prior to her position change for the final 10 matches of the year.
Throughout the season, Harward registered 10 or more digs 23 times, including four double-doubles. She had 20 or more digs three times, including a season-best 25 in four sets at Pepperdine. She was also named Big West Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 2, winning that award for the third time in her career. As an outside, Harward also recorded a pair of matches with 20-plus kills, putting down a career-best 21 in a win over UC Riverside on Nov. 10. She finished the year strong with 15 kills on a career-best .438 hitting in a win over CSUN, helping the Beach close the season on a three-match winning streak.
Kruidhof was a consistent presence at outside hitter for the Beach, recording double-digit kills in 22 matches this season, including a career-high 21 in a win at UC Riverside on Sept. 19. She also recorded four double-doubles on the year, led by a 15-dig performance at UC Santa Barbara. Kruidhof averaged 3.18 kills per set, finishing the year ranked 10th in the Big West in that category.
Xue makes her second career appearance on the All-Big West team, after checking in as First Team All-Big West as a freshman in 2016. In her sophomore season, Xue was tied for second in the conference with 1.02 blocks per set, and finished 10th in the Big West with a .291 hitting percentage. Her best stretch of the season was Sept. 9-16 as Xue recorded double-digit kills in four straight matches, hitting .333 or better in all four contests. Her top performance of the year came at Utah Valley when she recorded 11 kills on .588 hitting while adding six blocks.
Finally, Marinova was recognized for her contributions in her first season at the Beach. The freshman from Sofia, Bulgaria averaged 1.46 kills, 1.31 digs and 0.58 blocks per set on the season. After missing three weeks with injury, Marinova returned to help the Beach down the stretch, recording a career-best 13 kills in a win over UC Riverside on Nov. 10. She also added 10 digs in that match for her first career double-double.
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