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Eckerman, Hahn & Bechard Repeat as Honorees to Highlight Postseason Awards
December 02, 2013
Texas' Haley Eckerman claimed her second straight Big 12 Player of the Year honor, while Iowa State's Kristen Hahn became a three-time Libero of the Year and Kansas' Ray Bechard repeated as Coach of the Year to highlight the 2013 Big 12 volleyball postseason individual awards. In addition, Erin McNorton (Kansas) was named the Setter of the Year and Chiaka Ogbogu (Texas) earned Freshman of the Year.

With back-to-back Player of the Year distinctions, Eckerman becomes just the fourth player to achieve the feat. She was also named the 2011 Big 12 Freshman of the Year and is one of five players to claim both honors in her career. Hahn becomes only the second player to earn the Libero of the Year award for three years, joining former Cyclone Ashley Mass (2008-10). Bechard is now one of five league coaches to earn the Coach of the Year recognition multiple times. Hahn and McNorton were chosen unanimously in the vote by the league's head coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own players.

Eckerman, who claims Texas' seventh Player of the Year honor, led the Big 12 in kills (4.55) and points (5.24) while ranking second in service aces (0.42) and 10th in hitting percentage (.294) in conference-only competition this season. The junior All-American led the Longhorns to a perfect 16-0 league record and a third straight Big 12 championship with six 20-plus kill performances and double-digit kills in all but four matches on the season. In overall contests, she also led the league in kills and points. Eckerman has also claimed three Offensive Player of the Week honors this season for a career total of 15 overall weekly league accolades - tied for second most in conference history.

Hahn became the Big 12's all-time weekly award leader this season, totaling five Defensive Player of the Week distinctions for a grand total of 17 in her career. The senior led the Big 12 all season in digs, finishing with an average of 5.95 in conference-only matches, and posting a 5.73 average in overall games. She has totaled three matches with 30 or more digs this season and has 20-plus in 15 of ISU's 27 matches. Two of her 30-dig performances came against top league teams in Oklahoma (39) and Kansas (35). In 98 sets on the season, Hahn has totaled 562 digs. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native also finished the Big 12 schedule ranked sixth in aces per set with 0.29.

McNorton becomes the third Kansas player to win one of the league's individual honors. The senior finished the conference season ranked first with 12.16 assists per set, more than 1.00 better than the second place setter in the league. She posted two matches with 60 or more assists this season, 12 with 50 or more and 21 with 40-plus, averaging 12.13 assists per set in overall matches.

A dual threat for the Longhorns, Ogbogu ranked second in the league in hitting percentage in Big 12-only matches (.386) and overall matches (.409), while ranking ninth (1.08) and eighth in blocks (1.09), respectively. The freshman from Coppell, Texas, has claimed three Big 12 Rookie of the Week awards this season. She is averaging 1.77 kills per set and has posted a hitting percentage of .500 or better in 12 matches in which she has recorded at least five kills. The third Longhorn to earn Freshman of the Year honors, Ogbogu also has six matches with five or more blocks. She is the only freshman on this year's All-Big 12 First Team and was unanimously selected as an All-Freshman honoree.

In his 16th year at KU, Bechard has guided Kansas to its best finish in league history as the Jayhawks posted a 12-4 mark in conference play to finish second overall. Kansas has totaled 12 weekly awards this season - tied for the fourth-most in a single season in league history - after entering the year with only 14 all-time. The Jayhawks have been ranked seven weeks this season, including as high as No. 20 to open the 2013 campaign. KU has not been outside the NCAA RPI top-20 in the last two years and ranks in the top-40 nationally in kills, assists, hitting percentage and blocks. The Jayhawks earned their second consecutive postseason berth, and fifth under Bechard, and will enter the NCAA Championship with a 23-7 overall mark. Four KU players earned spots on the All-Big 12 First Team, eclipsing Kansas' previous-best of two set last season.

The 2013 All-Big 12 First Team is highlighted by five Texas selections and four Kansas honorees with Iowa State also landing multiple members. Kaitlynn Pelger (Kansas State), Eckerman and Bailey Webster (Texas) become three-time first team selections. Pelger is only the second Wildcat to achieve the feat.

Eckerman and Webster are also among six players to earn unanimous spots on the first team, joined by Hahn and McNorton as well as Mackenzie Bigbee (Iowa State) and Sallie McLaurin (Oklahoma). Hahn and McLaurin, along with Caroline Jarmoc (Kansas), Sara McClinton (Kansas) and Khat Bell (Texas) earn their second straight first team selections.

Including honorable mention and All-Freshman members, Texas garnered six honorees while Iowa State and Kansas each had five. 2012 All-Big 12 First Team members Zoe Adom (Baylor) and Victoria Hurtt (Iowa State) collected honorable mention. Ciara Capezio (Iowa State), Tayler Soucie (Kansas), Katie Brand (Kansas State) and Ogbogu (Texas) were selected to the All-Freshman team unanimously.


COACH OF THE YEAR: Ray Bechard, Kansas
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Haley Eckerman, Texas (6-3, Jr., OH, Waterloo, Iowa/East)
LIBERO OF THE YEAR: Kristen Hahn, Iowa State^ (5-6, Sr., L, Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Kennedy)
SETTER OF THE YEAR: Erin McNorton, Kansas^ (5-9, Sr., S, Dallas, Texas/Plano West)
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Chiaka Ogbogu, Texas (6-2, Fr., MB, Coppell, Texas/Coppell)

Name, School Ht. Yr. Pos. Hometown/Last School
Mackenzie Bigbee, Iowa State^ 6-1 So. RS Williamsburg, Iowa/Williamsburg
Kristen Hahn, Iowa State^% 5-6 Sr. L Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Kennedy
Chelsea Albers, Kansas 6-1 Jr. OH Papillion, Neb./Papillion LaVista
Caroline Jarmoc, Kansas*% 6-2 Sr. MB Calgary, Alberta, Canada/Springbank Community
Sara McClinton, Kansas*% 6-2 Jr. OH Omaha, Neb./Millard North
Erin McNorton, Kansas^~ 5-9 Sr. S Dallas, Texas/Plano West
Kaitlynn Pelger, Kansas State^# 6-2 Sr. MB Olathe, Kan./Olathe South
Sallie McLaurin, Oklahoma^*% 6-2 Sr. MB Midwest City, Okla./Carl Albert
Yvonne Igodan, TCU~ 6-2 Sr. MB Houston, Texas/Hightower
Khat Bell, Texas*% 6-1 Jr. MB/OH Mesquite, Texas/North Mesquite
Haley Eckerman, Texas^# 6-3 Jr. OH Waterloo, Iowa/East
Chiaka Ogbogu, Texas 6-2 Fr. MB Coppell, Texas/Coppell
Molly McCage, Texas 6-3 So. MB Spring, Texas/Klein Collins
Bailey Webster, Texas^# 6-3 Sr. OH Baltimore, Md./St. Paul's School for Girls
Name, School Ht. Yr. Pos. Hometown/Last School
Zoe Adom, Baylor% 6-0 Sr. OH Euless, Texas/Euless Trinity
Victoria Hurtt, Iowa State% 6-2 Jr. OH Kansas City, Mo./Archbishop O'Hara
Tenisha Matlock, Iowa State 6-2 Sr. MB North Platte, Neb./North Platte
Keila Rodriguez, Oklahoma 5-9 Sr. OH Gurabo, Puerto Rico/Colegio Bautista de Caguas
Rachel Brummitt, Texas Tech 5-6 Jr. DS/L Plano, Texas/Radford
Jordan Anderson, West Virginia 6-0 Fr. OH Flower Mound, Texas/Flower Mound
Name, School Ht. Yr. Pos. Hometown/Last School
Ciara Capezio, Iowa State^ 6-3 Fr. OH Williams Bay, Wis./Burlington
Tayler Soucie, Kansas^ 6-1 Fr. MB Osawatomie, Kan./Osawatomie
Katie Brand, Kansas State^ 6-1 Fr. S Grand Island, Neb./Central Catholic
Madison Ward, Oklahoma 6-1 Fr. OH Lawton, Okla./Cache
Chiaka Ogbogu, Texas^ 6-2 Fr. MB Coppell, Texas/Coppell
Jordan Anderson, West Virginia 6-0 Fr. OH Flower Mound, Texas/Flower Mound

^ Unanimous Selection
# Three-time All-Big 12 First Team Member (2011-13)
% All-Big 12 First Team Member in 2012
~ All-Big 12 Honorable Mention in 2012
* All-Big 12 Honorable Mention in 2011
Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes

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