Freshman outside hitter Ebony Nwanebu has continued an impressive start to her USC career this week, as she received her second Pac-12 Freshman of the Week award.
Her outstanding play in USC’s 3-1 victory against crosstown rival UCLA on Wednesday kicked off a great week. Posting 17 kills in 31 attempts, Nwanebu displayed her powerful and accurate hitting ability. The freshman standout’s versatility was also on display, as she added two blocks and one dig, leading the team in scoring with 18 points.
Nwanebu built on the performance against the Bruins with a solid effort in a road win against the Utah Utes. She contributed nine kills in a decisive 3-0 victory for the Trojans, bringing her week total to 26 kills with an astounding hitting percentage of .417 from the right side. On the season, Nwanebu has averaged 2.98 kills per set, good for second-best on the team.
The most recent honor adds to the trophy case for this year’s freshman class, with Nwanebu receiving the award in the first week of the season and fellow outside hitter Elise Ruddins winning it the week prior.
The two have combined to almost match the output of sophomore outside hitter Samantha Bricio, who was selected as the Freshman of the Week five times last year.
Overall, the USC women’s volleyball team has won the award eight times in the three years that the conference has selected individual awards. To earn playing time as a freshman at a perennial powerhouse such as USC is impressive alone, but to dominate against a rival and play tough on the road forecasts a bright future for the young outside hitter.
Nwanebu and the rest of the second-ranked Women of Troy (12-1, 2-0 Pac-12) are back at the Galen Center this weekend to take on Stanford on Friday at 8 p.m. and California on Sunday at 1 p.m.
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