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Volleyball Awards Highlighted by Iowa State, Kansas and Texas
November 30, 2015

Texas’ Amy Neal, along with Kansas’ Ainise Havili and Ray Bechard, and Iowa State’s Caitlin Nolan and Jess Schaben highlight the 2015 All-Big 12 Volleyball postseason awards.

Neal claims the Player of the Year award, becoming the ninth Texas student-athlete to win the accolade. Havili is the second Jayhawk to win the Setter of the Year honor with Bechard collecting Coach of the Year for the third time overall. Nolan earns her second-straight Libero of the Year distinction as Iowa State has now taken the award for eight consecutive years. Schaben’s Freshman of the Year recognition is the second all-time for the Cyclones.

Neal led the Big 12 in points per set in conference-only matches averaging 5.11 in 52 sets for Texas. She also ranked second in the league in kills per set at 4.48. The senior, who has been a part of Texas’ Big 12 regular season titles from 2012-15, earned Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honors twice this season and is a unanimous All-Big 12 First Team selection.

Nolan’s 6.00 digs per set led the league in conference-only contests as the senior also averaged 5.81 in overall matches, which ranked fifth nationally at the conclusion of the regular season. The Southlake, Texas, product collected three Defensive Player of the Week awards this year, finishing her career with seven total. Nolan is a unanimous All-Big 12 First Team honoree and a two-time selection. She has totaled 15 matches with 20 or more digs this season and has 30 in her career.

Havili’s 12.33 assists per set topped the league in Big 12-only matches, while her 12.36 average in overall matches ranked second nationally to close out the regular season. The sophomore recorded 16 matches this season with 40 or more assists, including four with 50-plus.

A four-time Rookie of the Week honoree this season, Schaben is the only freshman in the top 10 in kills and points per set for conference-only matches on the season. Her 3.10 kills per set ranked eighth in the league, while her 3.35 points per set ranked 10th. Thus far in her rookie campaign, Schaben has recorded 10 or more kills in a match on 18 occasions. Her 318 kills in her freshman year currently rank as the second-most by a freshman in ISU history.

Bechard, in his 18th year at Kansas, led the Jayhawks to their most storied regular season as KU concluded 2015 with a 26-2 overall mark and 14-2 Big 12 finish. The Jayhawks’ .929 winning percentage and 19-0 start are the best in program history. Kansas ended the regular season with a program-record .312 hitting percentage, which ranks fourth nationally, and a program-record 15.4 kills per set, which ranks second nationally. The Jayhawks have been ranked in the top 10 for eight-straight weeks with an NCAA RPI in the top 10 all season. Bechard reached 300 wins this season and takes 320 victories into KU’s postseason, where the Jayhawks have a No. 9 national seed.

The 2015 All-Big 12 First Team is highlighted by five selections for Texas, including Neal, Chiaka Ogbogu and Paulina Prieto Cerame as unanimous picks. Ogbogu becomes a three-time first team selection. Iowa State and Kansas totaled three honorees with Nolan and Havili plus KU’s Kelsie Payne earning unanimous spots. Nolan and Ogbogu, along with Baylor’s Andie Malloy, Kansas’ Tayler Soucie and K-State’s Katie Brand, were also 2014 All-Big 12 First Team members. Oklahoma’s Marion Hazelwood was also a unanimous selection for a total of seven overall.

Texas led all teams with six honorees between the first and second teams, while Iowa State and Kansas each totaled four. K-State and TCU had three selections each, while Baylor also tallied multiple honorees.

Kansas State placed a pair of rookies on the All-Freshman Team in Macy Flowers and Alyssa Schultejans. Schaben and Shelly Fanning (Baylor) are All-Freshman and All-Big 12 Second Team honorees. Five of the six All-Freshman Team members were unanimous selections.

Coach of the Year: Ray Bechard, Kansas
Player of the Year: Amy Neal, Texas (5-9, Sr., OH, Austin, Texas/Lake Travis)
Libero of the Year: Caitlin Nolan, Iowa State (5-8, Sr., Southlake, Texas/Carroll)^
Setter of the Year: Ainise Havili, Kansas (5-10, So., Fort Worth, Texas/Haltom)
Freshman of the Year: Jess Schaben, Iowa State (6-2, OH, Defiance, Iowa/Harlan)

Name, School Ht. Yr. Pos. Hometown/Last School
Andie Malloy, Baylor% 6-2 Sr. OH Allen, Texas/Iowa State
Alexis Conaway, Iowa State~$ 6-0 So. OH/MB Orange City, Iowa/MOC-Floyd Valley
Morgan Kuhrt, Iowa State 6-1 RJr. OH Waverly, Iowa/Waverly-Shell Rock
Caitlin Nolan, Iowa State^% 5-8 Sr. L Southlake, Texas/Carroll
Ainise Havili, Kansas^~$ 5-10 So. S Fort Worth, Texas/Haltom
Kelsie Payne, Kansas^$ 6-3 So. OH Austin, Texas/John B. Connally
Tayler Soucie, Kansas% 6-1 Jr. MB Osawatomie, Kan./Osawatomie
Katie Brand, Kansas State% 6-1 Jr. S Grand Island, Neb./Central Catholic
Marion Hazelwood, Oklahoma^$ 6-3 So. MB Beach City, Texas/Barbers Hill
Chloe Collins, Texas 5-7 Jr. S Cypress, Texas/Cypress Woods
Molly McCage, Texas* 6-3 Sr. MB Spring, Texas/Klein Collins
Amy Neal, Texas^~ 5-9 Sr. OH Austin, Texas/Lake Travis
Chiaka Ogbogu, Texas^%*@ 6-2 Jr. MB Coppell, Texas/Coppell
Paulina Prieto Cerame, Texas^ 6-2 Jr. OH San Juan, Puerto Rico/Palmer Trinity School (Miami, Fla.)
Name, School Ht. Yr. Pos. Hometown/Last School
Shelly Fanning, Baylor 6-2 Fr. MH Houston, Texas/Cypress Ranch
Jess Schaben, Iowa State 6-2 Fr. OH Defiance, Iowa/Harlan
Madison Rigdon, Kansas 6-0 So. OH Pflugerville, Texas/Pflugerville
Katie Reininger, Kansas State 6-1 Jr. MB Colorado Springs, Colo./Saint Mary's (CA)
Brooke Sassin, Kansas State 6-0 Jr. OH San Antonio, Texas/Mississippi State
Natalie Gower, TCU 6-4 Jr. MB St. Louis, Mo./St. Joseph's Academy
Regan McGuire, TCU 6-2 Jr. MB Flower Mound, Texas/Edward S. Marcus
Ashley Smith, TCU~ 6-1 Jr. OH League City, Texas/Clear Creek
Cat McCoy, Texas$ 5-7 So. L Southlake, Texas/Southlake Carroll
Lauren Douglass, Texas Tech~ 6-2 Jr. MB/RS Flower Mound, Texas/Ole Miss
Name, School Ht. Yr. Pos. Hometown/Last School
Shelly Fanning, Baylor^ 6-2 Fr. MH Houston, Texas/Cypress Ranch
Jess Schaben, Iowa State^ 6-2 Fr. OH Defiance, Iowa/Harlan
Macy Flowers, Kansas State^ 6-3 Fr. MB Chanute, Kan./Chanute
Alyssa Schultejans, Kansas State 6-3 Fr. OH Silver Lake, Kan./Silver Lake
Ashleigh Martin, TCU^ 6-1 Fr. OH McKinney, Texas/McKinney Boyd
Yaazie Bedart-Ghani, Texas^ 6-4 Fr. OH Los Angeles, Calif./Redondo Union

Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes
^ Unanimous Selection
@ Three-time All-Big 12 First Team Member (2013-15)
% All-Big 12 First Team in 2014
~ All-Big 12 Second Team in 2014
$ All-Freshman Team in 2014
* All-Big 12 First Team in 2013
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