Whitney Bower, center, and Kennedy Eschenberg of BYU try to block a spike by Thana Fayad of San Diego during an NCAA volleyball match in Provo on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. | Ravell Call, Deseret News
Bower is also the conference’s Setter of the Year, while BYU’s Taylen Ballard-Nixon, Kennedy Eschenberg and Kate Grimmer make all-conference first team
BYU sophomore Whitney Bower is the 2021 West Coast Conference Player of the Year and Setter of the Year and Cougars coach Heather Holmstead is the Coach of the Year for the third time in voting by the WCC’s head women’s volleyball coaches.
The No. 14-ranked Cougars won the WCC championship last week and earned a No. 16 seed in the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament, which begins next week in Omaha, Nebraska. BYU has a first-round bye and will meet the winner of the Rider/UCLA match on Thursday, April 15 at 8:30 p.m. MDT.
It will be BYU’s ninth straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
Pepperdine’s Madison Shields is the WCC Libero of the Year (formerly defensive player of year) and Waves middle blocker Meg Brown is the league’s Freshman of the Year.
Other BYU players on the All-WCC First Team are senior outside hitter Taylen Ballard-Nixon, senior middle blocker Kennedy Eschenberg and sophomore opposite Kate Grimmer.
BYU freshman libero Madi Allen earned All-WCC Second Team honors and freshman outside hitter Erin Livingston made All-WCC honorable mention. Livingston, Allen and BYU middle blocker Leilani Dodson made the WCC All-Freshman Team.
Bower becomes BYU’s sixth Player of the Year honoree since 2012 and first Cougar to win Setter of the Year honors after the league introduced that award in 2019.
McKenna Miller was Player of the Year in 2019 and Roni Jones-Perry won the award in 2018.
Bower averaged 10.83 assists, 3.43 digs and 0.81 kills per game this season.
Olmstead has guided BYU to five conference championships since becoming head coach in 2015. She owns the highest career winning percentage among active coaches at 89.4% (160-19) and is 97-9 in league matches.
Source:: Deseret News – Sports News
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