Four named to All-Big 12 teams

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Four Kansas volleyball student-athletes have been recognized for their on-court success when the Big 12 announced their postseason awards Monday.
Jada Burse (First), Gabby Simpson (Second), Ashley Smith (Second) and Rachel Langs (Rookie) were all recognized.
Burse, a 2016 Big 12 All-Freshman Team selection and 2017 Big 12 Second Team honoree, led Kansas in kills (374), kills per set (3.46) and points (408.5). The junior also finished the regular season ranked eighth in the conference in points scored and sixth in kills per set.
“Jada (Burse) has taken over matches for us with her attack and her physicality has led to her scoring points through blocks,” said head coach Ray Bechard. “There are times were she has been very dominate and carried us offensively.”
Simpson, 2015 and 2016 All-Pac 12 Honorable Mention selection at Colorado, earned second team honors in her lone season playing at KU. The Colorado Springs, Colo., native led the Jayhawks in assists (558) despite a transition to the primary setter role halfway through the season. The senior also finished third on the team in digs (208) and fourth in kills (152), while logging the team’s lone triple-double against instate rival K-State on Nov. 14.
“I think teams and the other coaches in the Big 12 see Gabby’s (Simpson) value in that she is willing to contribute whatever is needed,” Bechard stated. “She has had big kills, has taken over the setting role, is a primary passer and is a six-rotation player for us.”
Smith earned her first postseason accolades and was an integral part of the KU offensive attack. The Las Vegas, Nev., native finished second on the team in kills (321) and kills per set (2.94), while earning the third-highest attack percentage (.242).
“Ashley (Smith) has had matches where she has been as good of outside attacker as there is in the league and as she develops more consistency there are opportunities for her to continue to elevate her game,” Bechard said. “She has taken a big jump from part time starter to not playing much to a very effective attacker, and I am proud of the transition she has made.”
Langs emerged as a potent middle blocker for Kansas and led the team in blocks per set (1.36), finishing tied for second. The Fairview, Texas native also finished second on the team in blocks (112) and fifth in kills (120).
“Rachel (Langs) has worked her way to being a very efficient middle blocker which is one of the toughest transitions for a freshman to come in and impact a team at the Big 12 level,” stated Bechard. “We are proud of Rachel and think she is very deserving of the honor. There are a lot of really good freshman in the league.”
Coach of the Year: Jerritt Elliott, Texas
Player of the Year: Micaya White, Texas
Libero of the Year: Keyton Kinley, Oklahoma
Setter of the Year: Kylee McLaughlin, Oklahoma & Missy Owens, Texas Tech
Freshman of the Year: Logan Eggleston, Texas
Shelly Fanning, Baylor^%@
Yossiana Pressley, Baylor^$@*
Grace Lazard, Iowa State~
Jess Schaben, Iowa State^%+
Jada Burse, Kansas#
Alyssa Enneking, Oklahoma^
Keyton Kinley, Oklahoma
Kylee McLaughlin, Oklahoma
élan McCall, TCU^
Anna Walsh, TCU#
Brionne Butler, Texas^
Logan Eggleston, Texas^
Yaasmeen Bedart-Ghani, Texas
Morgan Johnson, Texas
Micaya White, Texas^%+!
Missy Owens, Texas Tech#
Paige Anderson, Oklahoma
Gabby Simpson, Kansas
Ashley Smith, Kansas
Gloria Mutiri, Kansas State
Elle Sandbothe, Kansas State
Tori Dilfer, TCU
Emily Hill, Texas Tech
Brooke Kanas, Texas Tech
Katy Keenan, Texas Tech
Rachel Langs, Kansas
Gloria Mutiri, Kansas State^
élan McCall, TCU^
Logan Eggleston, Texas^
Brionne Butler, Texas^
Brooke Kanas, Texas Tech
^ Unanimous Selection
@ Two-time All-Big 12 First Team Member
+ Three-time All-Big 12 First Team Member
% All-Big 12 First Team in 2017
# All-Big 12 Second Team in 2017
~ All-Big 12 Second Team in 2016
$ All-Freshman Team in 2017
* Two-time unanimous First Team Member
! Three-time unanimous First Team Member
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