LBSU Women's Volleyball Has Four Players Named All-Big West
Nele Barber, Ashley Murray and YiZhi Xue all earned First Team All-Big West honors while Xue and Hailey Harward were named to the All-Freshman team.
LONG BEACH, Calif. - The Big West Conference announced its women's volleyball all-conference teams on Monday, and Long Beach State had four players recognized as All-Big West by the conference's coaches. Nele Barber, Ashley Murray and YiZhi Xue led the way by making First Team All-Big West, while Xue and Hailey Harward were named to the All-Freshman Team.
After another strong season, the senior Barber was honored as a first team selection for the second year in a row. The outside hitter led the conference with 4.47 kills per set during Big West play and ranked eighth with 3.95 digs per set--the only non-libero in the top ten. Barber was a four-time Big West Player of the Week, which ties her for the most this season with Big West Player of the Year, Nikki Taylor of Hawai'i. Barber recorded a conference-leading 22 double-doubles this season, giving her 45 for her career.
Barber also becomes the 25th player in Long Beach State history to earn multiple First Team All-Big West honors in her career.
Murray earns first team honors for the first time after coming in as an honorable mention selection last season and winning Big West Freshman of the Year in 2014. The junior middle blocker ranked eighth in the Big West with a .310 hitting percentage during conference action and was second on the team with 0.83 blocks per set.
Xue reeled in dual honors thanks to a strong freshman campaign. The 6-foot-4 middle from Nanjing, China was the Big West leader in hitting percentage during conference play, hitting at a .398 clip. She also averaged 1.04 blocks per set to lead the Beach and finish fourth in the conference. During her freshman season, Xue claimed Big West Defensive Player of the Week once and Big West Freshman of the Week twice.
Xue becomes the sixth player in Long Beach State history to be named First Team All-Big West as a freshman, joining Misty May (1995), Alexis Crimes (2004), Ali Daley (2005), Caitlin Ledoux (2008) and Haleigh Hampton (2010).
Harward earned All-Freshman honors following a highly successful season that saw her split time between libero and outside hitter. She eventually settled in as a libero during conference play and averaged 4.09 digs per set in Big West matches. Her standout performance came in LBSU's win over Hawai'i, as Harward recorded a career-best 27 digs. That performance helped her win the first of two Big West Defensive Player of the Week awards this season.
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