Stanford volleyball puts six on Pacific North teams


Six Stanford women's volleyball players have been named to the All-Pacific North Region teams, the American Volleyball Coaches Association announced today.

Senior Kyle Gilbert, juniors Inky Ajanaku, Madi Bugg and Jordan Burgess, and redshirt freshman Merete Lutz were selected to the 14-player team, while senior Morgan Boukather received honorable mention accolades.

Ajanaku, a two-time AVCA All-American, is one of 10 players in the nation being honored for the third time in their careers. Bugg, Burgess and Gilbert are repeat honorees and earned All-America accolades in 2013. Lutz and Boukather are being recognized for the first time in their careers.

Stanford's five first-team selections to the all-region team is a school record, while its six overall picks are also a program best. The Cardinal had five honorees in 2013. Players named to the all-region teams are now in contention to become 2014 AVCA All-Americans.

Gilbert, a libero from Encinitas, ranks second in the Pac-12 with 4.67 digs per set, pushing that mark to 4.89 digs per set against conference opponents. She earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors after setting a school record with 40 digs against Arizona on Nov. 7. On the year, her 546 digs ranks third on the program's single season list. She has registered double-digit digs in all 32 of Stanford's matches this year. She is second in Cardinal history with 1,956 career digs.

Ajanaku is fifth nationally with a .440 hitting percentage, which is the third-best in a single season at Stanford. She recently moved into the top 10 on the Cardinal's career blocks list (427) and is averaging 1.18 blocks per set for the year. She has been named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week twice this season, while also securing Offensive Player of the Week accolades. She was tabbed the AVCA National Player of the Week on Sept. 9 after the Cardinal knocked off then-No. 1 Penn State and then-No. 9 Illinois.

Bugg, who hails from Apex, N.C., leads the nation with 12.02 assists per set and upped that mark to 12.11 assists per set in Pac-12 play. The two-time Pac-12 Setter of the Year, she is second on the team with 14 double-doubles this season and earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 20. She tallied a season high 59 assists in a four-set win at Oregon State on Oct. 31 and collected a career-best 24 digs in a win over No. 16 Arizona on Nov. 7. She recently moved into fifth place on the Cardinal's career assists list with 3,656.

Burgess leads the team with 17 double-doubles on the year. She is second on the squad with 3.09 kills and 3.15 digs per set. She collected her 1,000th career dig against Arizona on Nov. 7 and registered her 1,000th career kill on Dec. 6 against Michigan State. She is just the ninth Cardinal player to amass 1,000 career kills and digs.

Lutz, a native of Houston, Texas, leads the Pac-12 and is fourth in the nation with a .447 attack percentage. She also ranks fourth in the conference with 1.23 blocks per set. She has twice been named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week and earned all-tournament honors at the Stanford Invitational and USD Invitational. She was also named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman team this season.

Boukather, an opposite from Newport Beach, is posting career highs in kills (2.51), digs (2.15), points (3.05) and hitting percentage (.275). She has five double-doubles on the year and posted a career high 18 kills at Utah (10/19) and registered a career best 24 digs against Arizona (11/7).

The Cardinal, which defeated CSU Bakersfield and Michigan State in the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament, has advanced to the Ames Regional. The No. 1 overall seed, Stanford will face Pac-12 foe Oregon State on Friday at 3 p.m. The winner of the that match will take on either No. 8 seed Florida or No. 9 seed Illinois in the Regional Final on Saturday at 6 p.m. PT on ESPNU.

— Stanford Athletics

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