Sports

Plummer named Pac-12 women's volleyball Freshman of the Year

Ajanaku, Lutz also make first team; Fitzmorris, Hentz are on all-freshmen team

Stanford outside hitter Kathryn Plummer has been named the Pac-12 women's volleyball Freshman of the Year as the annual conference awards were announced Monday by Commissioner Larry Scott.

Joining Plummer on the All-Pac-12 Conference team are redshirt senior Inky Ajanaku and redshirt junior Merete Lutz.


Inky Ajanaku (12), Merete Lutz. Photo by Karen Ambrose Hickey/stanfordphoto.com
Freshmen Audriana Fitzmorris and Morgan Hentz both earned all-conference honorable mention accolades. Plummer, Fitzmorris and Hentz also landed on the All-Pac-12 Freshman Team.

Plummer, a native of Aliso Viejo, is the 12th Stanford player to earn Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors, joining the likes of Kerri Walsh (1996), Logan Tom (1999) and Ogonna Nnamani (2001) among others.

Plummer ranks ninth in the Pac-12 in kills (3.24) and points per set (3.88) this season, pacing Stanford.

She also leads the team with eight double-doubles and posted a team-high in kills in 20 of the 28 matches.

A three-time Pac-12 Freshman of the Week, Plummer also earned ESPNw and Pac-12 Offensive weekly honors this season.

It marks the second straight year the Cardinal boasts the conference's rookie of the year as Hayley Hodson snagged the honor in 2015.

Ajanaku earns her fourth career all-conference accolades after sitting out all of last season due to a knee injury.

The Tulsa, Oklahoma native is second in the Pac-12 in hitting percentage (.395) and blocks per set (1.51), ranking in the top 20 nationally in both categories. She is also second on the team in kills (271) and points (357.5).

A finalist for the Senior CLASS Award, Ajanaku's .410 career hitting percentage is the second-high in program history behind Foluke Akinradewo (.443). She also ranks fourth on the Cardinal's career blocks list with 589.

Lutz, a native of Houston, Texas, earns her third straight all-conference accolades. After playing middle in her first two seasons, Lutz has spent the 2016 campaign competing on the right side for the Cardinal.

She is averaging 2.32 kills and 1.08 blocks per set while hitting .285 this season. In Pac-12 matches, she ranks ninth in hitting percentage (.298) in the conference. Her .369 career hitting percentage is the fourth-best mark in program history.

Fitzmorris, who hails from Overland Park, Kansas, ranks fourth in the Pac-12 and 17th nationally with 1.42 blocks per set this season. She's also listed in the top 10 in the conference in hitting percentage at .323.

The middle blocker earned three Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors this season, along with Offensive and Defensive nods earlier in the season. Additionally, she was named the AVCA National Player of the Week on Sept. 6 after the Cardinal defeated then-No. 17 Illinois and swept then-No. 13 Penn State in Boulder, Colorado. Fitzmorris tallied a career-high 20 kills on a career-best .559 attack percentage against the Illini.

Hentz, Stanford's starting libero, has anchored the Cardinal defense all season. In Pac-12 matches, she ranked third in the league with 4.79 digs per set.

Her 4.64 digs per set mark is tied for the fourth-highest average in a single season in program history. She has 492 total digs, ranking eighth on the school's single season list. The Lakeside Park, Kentucky native has registered double-digit digs in all 28 matches this season, reaching the 20-dig plateau on nine occasions.

Washington's Courtney Schwan was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year, while the Washington State's Jen Greeny was tabbed the Coach of the Year. UCLA senior Taylor Formico earned Libero of the Year honors for the second straight season and Arizona senior Penina Snuka garnered Setter of the Year accolades.

The Cardinal plays host to Denver in the NCAA tournament Friday at 7 p.m. in Maples Pavilion. The winner will meet the winner of the Boise State-Western Kentucky match Saturday at 7 p.m.

— Stanford Athletics

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