Stanford's Gilbert earns Pac-12 weekly volleyball honor


Stanford senior libero Kyle Gilbert has been named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week in women's volleyball after helping the top-ranked Cardinal to a pair of victories last week.

Gilbert averaged 7.10 digs per set in wins over No. 20 Arizona State and No. 16 Arizona last week. The top-ranked Cardinal improved to 24-0, its best start to a season since 1991.

Against Arizona State, Gilbert registered a then-season high 31 digs, which is tied for the fifth-most digs in a match in program history. She followed up with a school-record 40 digs against Arizona, breaking the previous mark set by herself (2013) and Gabi Ailes (2009) by seven digs. In total, she has four 30-plus dig performances in her career, two coming last week.

It marks the second defensive player of the week nod for Gilbert, who also collected the honor in 2012. She is the fourth Cardinal player to be recognized with a weekly honor this season, resulting in seven total awards. It is the 94th weekly honor for Stanford all-time, which leads the conference.

Stanford travels to No. 21 USC on Wednesday (7:30 p.m.) and No. 18 UCLA on Thursday (7 p.m.) in a tough back-to-back schedule that will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.

Cross country

Stanford freshman Elise Cranny was named the Pac-12 Cross Country Women's Freshman of the Year, highlighting the Cardinal's all-conference selections.

Cranny was the runner-up at the Pac-12 Championships in Oakland on Oct. 31, finishing behind Arizona State's Shelby Houlihan over the 6-kilometer (3.73-mile) course at the Metropolitan Golf Links. Cranny was timed in 20:03.

Her season has been memorable. She won the Washington Invitational in her collegiate debut and then was seventh at the Wisconsin Invitational, before racing at Pac-12's. Cranny will next run at home when Stanford hosts the NCAA West Regionals on Friday at Stanford Golf Course at 11 a.m.

Cranny becomes the sixth Stanford woman to earn the Freshman or Newcomer of the Year award. Previous Cardinal winners were Erin Sullivan (1999), Sara Bei (2001), Arianna Lambie (2003), Teresa McWalters (2004), and Cayla Hatton (2012).

Those who placed among the top 14 at the Pac-12 meet earned all-conference honors. Stanford had four men and three women in that category.

First-team selections were Cranny and Joe Rosa, who placed third in the men's race.

Second-team selections included Michael Atchoo,

Maksim Korolev, Sean McGorty plus Emma Fisher and Molly McNamara.

— Stanford Athletics

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