As the Pac-12 women’s volleyball season comes to a close, USC freshman outside hitter Ebony Nwanebu is showing no signs of slowing down. The young star out of Fairview, Texas had two more standout matches this past weekend en route to her fifth Pac-12 Freshman of the Week selection of the season.
Over the weekend, Nwanebu took the lead on offense in the two sweeps against Oregon and Oregon State. Over the two matches, she recorded 23 total kills (3.83 kills per set) for a .488 hitting percentage. Against the Ducks on Friday, Nwanebu recorded 10 kills with only one error on 20 attempts for a .450 hitting percentage. She continued this pace in Sunday’s match, posting a .522 hitting percentage with 13 kills on 23 attempts against the Beavers.
USC has now won four matches in a row, and in each of those matches, Nwanebu has reached double-digits in kills. The correlation between Nwanebu’s offensive play and the team’s success is evident, and if she continues to play at this level, the Women of Troy will have an excellent opportunity to capture the conference title and compete for the national championship.
After winning the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week award for the first time on Sept. 2, Nwanebu has only gotten better. This week’s selection was her fifth of the season, tying her with teammate and fellow outside hitter sophomore Samantha Bricio for the most conference Freshman of the Week selections. The Women of Troy have now been awarded 11 such selections, good enough to hold the Pac-12 record (freshman outside hitter Elise Ruddins also took home the honors once earlier this season).
Nwanebu will look to go for the all-time record this weekend when USC matches up against Pac-12 rivals Washington and Washington State. These road matches will test both Nwanebu and the rest of the squad -— the Huskies are currently ranked No. 3 in the nation and took the last match against the Women of Troy in four sets at the Galen Center. USC will look to avenge the loss and put itself in prime position to win the conference and accelerate into the NCAA tournament when the season concludes on Nov. 29.
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