Ruddins, Lovenberg Earn Two of Final Three Big West Weekly Honors

Photo by Jeff Liang
Photo by Jeff Liang

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – After leading the offense in a pair of sweeps to end the regular season, UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball's Lindsey Ruddins and Olivia Lovenberg have earned Big West Player of the Week honors yet again, the conference announced on Monday.

One year after setting a UCSB single-season record with four Big West Player of the Week awards, Ruddins claims the fifth of her redshirt junior season. That also breaks a tie with Cal Poly's Torrey Van Winden (4) for the most in the conference this season. Ruddins now has nine in her career, placing her in a three-way tie with former All-Americans Danielle Scott (Long Beach State) and Elsa Stegemann (Pacific) for third-most in Big West history.

After opening the year with two consecutive Freshman of the Week honors, Lovenberg brings in her third of the season. That trails only the aforementioned Ruddins (5) for the most ever by a Gaucho.

With the 13-week regular season now in the books, UCSB's 11 weekly accolades are the most it has ever taken home in a single campaign. The Gauchos' previous record had been eight weekly honors, which they reached in each of the two previous seasons.

Player of the Week – Lindsey Ruddins
Looking as dominant as she has all season, outside hitter Lindsey Ruddins averaged 6.17 kills, 4.17 digs and 0.83 blocks per set on an efficient .357 hitting percentage, punishing defenses in back-to-back sweeps. Against Cal State Fullerton, she went for 15 kills (.353), also adding eight digs, two blocks and an ace.

The following night against UCR, she refused to hold back, registering 22 kills, 17 digs, three aces and three blocks while hitting at a .360 clip. It was her second-highest hitting percentage during Big West play, allowing her to reach 22 kills (7.33 K/S) in a three-set match for the fifth time in her career.

She ends the regular season with a career-high 575 kills, the second-most in the nation and the fourth-most in a single-season in program history.

Freshman of the Week – Olivia Lovenberg
Setting up Ruddins for most of her kills, setter Olivia Lovenberg averaged 13.33 assists and 3.17 digs per set over the weekend. She had 38 assists (12.67 A/S) in the win over Fullerton to go along with eight digs, one ace and a pair of kills.

Against the Highlanders, the San Diego, Calif. native dished out 42 assists (14.00 A/S), the most she has had in a three-set match all year. She also finished with 11 digs and a kill, notching her ninth double-double in the process.

With Big West-leading marks of 1,197 assists and 11.19 per set, Lovenberg becomes the first Gaucho to lead the Big West in total assists and the second to lead in assist average since at least 2004. She is also just the second Gaucho to reach the 1,000-assist milestone during the Lantagne Welch era.