2012 All-Big 12 Volleyball Postseason Awards Announced
Courtesy: Big12Sports.com
          Release: 11/26/2012
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A quartet of Iowa State student-athletes lead the 2012 edition of the Big 12 volleyball postseason individual awards. For the second straight year, Kristen Hahn earned the Libero of the Year honor, while Alison Landwehr (Setter of the Year) and Mackenzie Bigbee (Freshman of the Year) also collected accolades. Jamie Straube shares the inaugural Scholar-Athlete of the Year honor with Tayler Tolefree (Kansas).

For the fourth straight year, Texas claimed the Player of the Year award as 2011 Freshman of the Year Haley Eckerman was selected as the unanimous choice. Kansas head coach Ray Bechard rounded out the individual award winners, garnering the Coach of the Year accolade - the first by a KU coach.

The All-Big 12 awards are chosen by the league's head coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own players.

Eckerman finished 2012 leading the league in points (5.24) and kills (4.60) in Big 12-only contests. She also ranked second (0.45) in service aces and seventh in hitting percentage (.328). The 2011 AVCA Freshman of the Year, she becomes the third sophomore to earn the Big 12 Player of the Year distinction. Eckerman becomes the sixth player in league history to earn both the Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year honors in their careers. The Waterloo, Iowa-native has collected five Big 12 Player of the Week honors this season. In overall matches, she leads the Big 12 in kills (4.59), service aces (0.44) and points (5.27). Nationally, she ranks ninth in the country in points and 10th in kills. She posted double-digit kills in all but one match this season and has seven double-doubles.

With Hahn's recognition, the Libero of the Year honor has been claimed by Iowa State for the past five years. She finished the regular season ranked first in the league in digs in overall matches and Big 12 matches, averaging 5.43 and 5.84, respectively. Her mark in conference play was 1.00 above the next-best libero. The junior, who won the award unanimously, is an eight-time Defensive Player of the Week recipient for 2012 - the most single-season weekly honors by a Big 12 volleyball student-athlete alltime. She has recorded 12 defensive weekly honors in her career, which is the third-most weekly awards on the league's career list. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa-product has recorded 15 matches with 20 or more digs and three with 30 or more, including in both matches over league champion Texas. This season, she has recorded 554 digs in 102 sets.

Landwehr earns the first-ever Setter of the Year honor averaging 11.59 assists per set this season. A native of St. Louis, Mo., she is also a two-time All-Big 12 first team honoree (2011-12). The senior finished first in the Big 12 in assists this season (11.93) and sits in third in overall matches. She has posted at least 30 assists in all but three of Iowa State's matches this season, including eight matches with 50 or more. She closed out the regular season with 66 assists in ISU's final match, a 3-2 win over Texas that gave the Cyclones their first perfect record at home in Conference play.

Bigbee becomes the first Cyclone to collect Freshman of the Year honors. She totaled 15 matches with double-digit kills during the regular season, averaging 2.91 per set. The Williamsburg, Iowa-native hit .252 and averaged 0.46 blocks. Her 2.91 kills average ranks eighth in the league as she is the only freshman in the top 10 in the kills category through the end of the regular season. In high school, she was a 2011 Under Armour All-America first team selection and won the 2011 USA Volleyball 18U Junior National Championship as a member of the Six Pack club team.

This marks the first Coach of the Year distinction for KU. Bechard, in his 15th season at Kansas, has led the Jayhawks to their first NCAA appearance since 2005 as KU will host first round action in Lawrence. KU finished the 2012 regular season 25-6 overall and 12-4 in the Big 12, marking the first time a Kansas squad has won 25 matches since the 1991 season. KU, picked to finish the season sixth in the preseason poll, finished third in the Big 12 standings - its highest finish in Conference history. The Jayhawks' 12 league wins are their second-most in the Big 12 era (13-7, 2003). Kansas broke its program-best RPI mark as they jumped to No. 6 in the Nov. 19 rankings. In 2012, Kansas is 10-6 against top-50 RPI teams and 16-6 against the top-100 and has been ranked in the AVCA top 25 for the past eight weeks, including a program-best No. 17 ranking on Oct. 22.

Straube and Tolefree are both recipients of the Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. Nominees must be a junior or senior in athletic and academic standings, have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.2, participation in at least 60 percent of the team's scheduled contests, and a minimum of one year in residence at the institution in order to qualify. Straube, a 2012 CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-District first team honoree, carries a 3.99 GPA in Kinesiology. Tolefree holds a 3.74 GPA and is majoring in Human Biology/Pre-Med. Straube and Tolefree are also three-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team honorees. Tolefree finished 2012 ranked 10th in league matches in hitting percentage (.299) and sixth in blocks (1.03), while Straube has hit .287 with 2.31 kills per set in overall matches this season.

On the All-Big 12 Team, Iowa State led in overall selections with six awards between First Team, Honorable Mention and All-Freshman honorees. The Cyclones and Longhorns each placed four members on the First Team. ISU and OU also tallied a pair of freshmen on the All-Freshman Team.

Jamie Straube (Iowa State) became a three-time First Team honoree. She is the 18th student-athlete all-time to earn a First Team distinction for three years. The feat was last achieved by ISU's Victoria Henson (2008-10). Alison Landwehr (Iowa State), Kaitlynn Pelger (Kansas State), and Eckerman and Bailey Webster (Texas) became two-time First Team members after earning the distinction in 2011.

Caroline Jarmoc (Kansas), Sallie McLaurin (Oklahoma) and Khat Bell (Texas), 2011 Honorable Mention members, were selected to the First Team this season.

Kristen Hahn and Victoria Hurtt (Iowa State), along with Jarmoc, Pelger, McLaurin, Eckerman and Webster were voted unanimous First Team members. Bigbee and Molly McCage (Texas) were selected unanimously for the All-Freshman Team.

2012 ALL-BIG 12 VOLLEYBALL POSTSEASON AWARDS
COACH OF THE YEAR: Ray Bechard, Kansas
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Haley Eckerman, Texas^ (6-3, So., OH, Waterloo, Iowa/East)
LIBERO OF THE YEAR: Kristen Hahn, Iowa State^ (5-6, Jr., L, Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Kennedy)
SETTER OF THE YEAR: Alison Landwehr, Iowa State (6-0, Sr., S., St. Louis, Mo./Parkway West)
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Mackenzie Bigbee, Iowa State (61, Fr., RS, Williamsburg, Iowa/Williamsburg)
SCHOLAR-ATHLETES OF THE YEAR: Jamie Straube, Iowa State (6-2, Sr., MB, Tecumseh, Neb./Johnson Country Central)
Tayler Tolefree, Kansas (6-2, Sr., MB, Lawrence, Kan./Lawrence)

ALL-BIG 12 FIRST TEAM
Name, School Ht. Yr. Pos. Hometown/Last School
Zoe Adom, Baylor 6-0 RJr. OH Euless, Texas/Euless Trinity
Kristen Hahn, Iowa State^ 5-6 Jr. L Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Kennedy
Victoria Hurtt, Iowa State^ 6-2 So. OH Kansas City, Mo./Archbishop O'Hara
Alison Landwehr, Iowa State% 6-0 Sr. S St. Louis, Mo./Parkway West
Jamie Straube, Iowa State%* 6-2 Sr. MB Tecumseh, Neb./Johnson County Central
Caroline Jarmoc, Kansas^# 6-2 RJr. MB Calgary, Alberta, Canada/Springbank Community
Sara McClinton, Kansas 6-2 So. OH Omaha, Neb./Millard North
Caitlyn Donahue, Kansas State 5-9 Sr. S Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West
Kaitlynn Pelger, Kansas State^% 6-2 Jr. MB Olathe, Kan./Olathe South
Sallie McLaurin, Oklahoma^# 6-2 Jr. MB Midwest City, Okla./Carl Albert
Khat Bell, Texas# 6-1 So. MB/OH Mesquite, Texas/North Mesquite
Haley Eckerman, Texas^% 6-3 So. OH Waterloo, Iowa/East
Sha'Dare McNeal, Texas 6-3 Sr. UTL San Diego, Calif./Fallbrook
Bailey Webster, Texas^% 6-3 Jr. OH Baltimore, Md./St. Paul's School for Girls
 
HONORABLE MENTION
Name, School Ht. Yr. Pos. Hometown/Last School
Torri Campbell, Baylor 6-2 Sr. MB Amarillo, Texas/Amarillo
Alyssa Dibbern, Baylor 6-2 Sr. RS Bay City, Texas/San Jacinto College
Erin McNorton, Kansas 5-9 Jr. S Dallas, Texas/Plano West
Brianne Riley, Kansas 5-6 Jr. DS/L Naperville, Ill./Benet Academy
Alex Muff, Kansas State 6-1 Sr. MB Concordia, Kan./Concordia
Yvonne Igodan, TCU 6-2 Jr. MB Houston, Texas/Hightower
 
ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
Name, School Ht. Yr. Pos. Hometown/Last School
Mackenzie Bigbee, Iowa State^ 6-1 Fr. RS Williamsburg, Iowa/Williamsburg
Andie Malloy, Iowa State 6-2 Fr. S/OH Allen, Texas/Lovejoy
Tiana Dockery, Kansas 5-10 Fr. OH Richmond, Texas/Foster
Julia Doyle, Oklahoma 6-2 Fr. S Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata
Kierra Holst, Oklahoma 6-4 Fr. MB Coppell, Texas/Coppell
Molly McCage, Texas^ 6-3 Fr. MB Spring, Texas/Klein Collins

^ Unanimous Selection
% All-Big 12 First Team Member in 2011
* All-Big 12 First Team Member in 2010
# All-Big 12 Honorable Mention in 2011
Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes

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