University of Oklahoma volleyball senior Kierra Holst (Coppell, Texas) was voted the Big 12 Preseason Co-Player of the Year as voted on by the conference’s coaches and announced on Thursday afternoon. Holst, a unanimous All-Big 12 First Team selection a year ago, shares the preseason honor with Texas middle blocker Chiaka Ogbogu.
Holst, an outside hitter, is a unanimous selection to the Big 12 Preseason Team for the second straight year and her third overall selection. She is joined by senior setter Julia Doyle (Plymouth, Minn.), who was a unanimous preseason selection a year ago, and redshirt-junior outside hitter Madison Ward (Lawton).
All three were members of the 2014 All-Big 12 First Team, while Doyle was also honored as the Big 12 Setter of the Year. Holst and Doyle are both coming off AVCA All-America Honorable Mention seasons, while Ward earned AVCA All-Southwest Region Honorable Mention.
Holst led the Sooner attack with 3.75 kills per set to go with a .243 hitting percentage last season. She set an OU record for kills in a season during the 25-point, rally-scoring era with 450. Holst, who led the Big 12 with 54 service aces, was a two-time Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honoree and earned the espnW Volleyball Player of the Week award following Oklahoma’s stunning 3-0 upset at No. 2 Texas.
Doyle paced the Sooner offense with 10.63 assists per set and a 2.19 digs per set average. She led Oklahoma with 11 double-doubles on the season and surpassed 40 assists on 19 occasions; including seven matches with 50-plus. Doyle also set the OU record for assists in 25-point, rally-scoring match with 60 against Iowa State.
Ward followed Holst’s weekly Big 12 honors each time with a pair of Player of the Week awards to her own credit. For the season, she averaged 3.08 kills and 2.44 digs per set; both of which ranked second on the Sooners’ squad. Ward finished second on the team with eight double-doubles and 16 double-digit kill matches.
The Big 12 is set to release its Preseason Coaches Poll this afternoon.