LEXINGTON, Ky. – One day after earning the first weekly conference honor of her career, sophomore Lianna Sybeldon branched out even further today, winning the Sports Imports/AVCA Division I National Player of the Week award, becoming just the sixth different Husky ever to earn the honor. She is also the first player from the Pac-12 to win the national award this season.
Following weekend wins at UCLA and at No. 4 USC, Washington finished the first half of Pac-12 play with a 9-1 record, one game ahead of USC and Stanford. Sybeldon was a critical factor in UW’s first weekend sweep in Los Angeles since the 2008 season. The 6-foot-1 middle blocker hit .431 over the two matches, including a .462 mark in Sunday’s four-set win over the Trojans. She had 12 kills against the Bruins and a career-high 15 kills against USC.
Sunday’s win marked the highest-ranked opponent Washington has defeated on the road also since 2008, when the Huskies beat then-No. 4 California in Berkeley. Yesterday Sybeldon was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week for her efforts. She also averaged 1.50 blocks per set over the weekend.
Sybeldon has upped her production significantly as a starter this season after seeing limited action as a freshman. She’s now averaging 2.08 kills per set, third on the team behind Krista Vansant and Kaleigh Nelson, and her 1.21 blocks per set leads the team and ranks fifth in the Pac-12. Her .361 attack percentage also is ninth in the Pac-12 this season.
Six different Huskies have now combined for seven total American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) National Player of the Week honors. Junior Krista Vansant earned the award last year on October 2. Prior to that it had been four years since Jenna Hagglund in 2008. Sanja Tomasevic is the only two-time weekly winner for UW, winning in 2003 and again in 2005.
Washington looks to extend its seven-match winning streak at home this week against Utah on Friday and Colorado on Sunday at Alaska Airlines Arena.
Washington's All-Time AVCA National Players of the Week
Angela Bransom (Sept. 16, 1996)
Makare Desilets (Oct. 27, 1997)
Sanja Tomasevic (Sept. 2, 2003)
Sanja Tomasevic (Oct. 10, 2005)
Jenna Hagglund (Oct. 14, 2008)
Krista Vansant (Oct. 2, 2012)
Lianna Sybeldon (Oct. 29, 2013)