Four Win All-Big 12 Individual Awards
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AMES, Iowa – The Big 12 announced its postseason awards on Monday and Iowa State took home four individual honors as well as four first team and two all-freshman team selections.
Junior libero Kristen Hahn repeated as the Big 12 Libero of the Year, a unanimous pick by the league coaches, making it five-straight years in which an Iowa State libero has won the award. Senior Alison Landwehr was awarded the inaugural Setter of the Year award and Mackenzie Bigbee was named the Big 12 Freshman of the Year, the first Cyclone to ever claim the rookie nod.
Jamie Straube claimed the Big 12’s first-ever Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, along with Kansas’ Taylor Tolefree.
Hahn and outside hitter Victoria Hurtt were unanimous selections to the All-Big 12 first team and were joined by Landwehr and Straube. It is the first All-Big 12 first team honor for both Hahn and Hurtt, the second for Landwehr and third for Straube, who was also named to the All-Freshman Team in 2009. Bigbee and fellow freshman Andie Malloy were named to the All-Freshman Team. Bigbee was one of two unanimous selections to the freshman squad.
Throughout the season, Hahn led the Big 12 in digs, finishing the season with an average of 5.84 digs per set, a full 1.00 digs per set more than the next libero in the conference. Hahn’s quick reactions and willingness to dive across the court to get under a ball were reflected in Iowa State’s league-leading 17.53 digs per set this season. The Cyclones were the only Big 12 team with more than 17.00 digs per set on the year in conference play. The Cedar Rapids native also broke a conference record with eight weekly awards, all defensive, during the season. For her career, Hahn has 12 weekly awards, all defensive, which is second all-time in the Big 12 for defensive honors, and is third all-time in combined awards.
A year after leading the Big 12 in assists, Landwehr averaged 11.93 assists per set overall to again pace the league. Landwehr was third in assists during the Big 12 schedule, averaging 11.59 assists per set and recorded eight matches with at least 50 digs. Last Saturday, the St. Louis native tied a career-high with 66 assists in the Cyclones’ five-set win over No. 3 Texas.
Bigbee closed out the regular season with 15 double-digit kill matches, including a 26 kill performance at No. 19 Illinois to tie an Iowa State freshman record. Bigbee’s 2.91 kills per set on the year ranks eighth in the Big 12, and the right side out of Williamsburg is the only freshman to rank in the top-10 in kills per set this season. In conference play, Bigbee averaged 2.59 kills per set.
A kinesiology major with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.99, Straube is a two-time Academic All-District honoree, including a nod in 2012. Straube, who hails from Tecumseh, Neb., is also a three-time Academic All-Big 12 award winner.
Kansas City, Mo., native Hurtt averaged 3.45 kills per set and 3.64 points per set against Big 12 teams this season, both numbers ranked in the top-10 in the league. Malloy came on strong for Iowa State in the last half of the Big 12 season, finishing with top-10 rankings in both kills per set (3.17) and points per set (3.52). From Allen, Texas, Malloy collected her first double-double as a Cyclone against the Longhorns last weekend, with a career-high 19 kills and 20 digs.
Haley Eckerman of Texas was the unanimous pick for the league’s top player and Kansas coach Ray Bechard was named best coach.
Iowa State begins NCAA Tournament play at home this week. North Carolina and California will kick off the Ames subregional at 5 p.m. CST on Thursday, Nov. 29, followed by the Cyclones and IPFW at 7:30 p.m.