Simpson sisters receive Pac-12 volleyball honors

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WALNUT CREEK, Calif. — The awards are starting to come in this season and the University of Colorado volleyball team has placed three athletes on the All-Pac-12 and All-Pac-12 All-Freshman honorable mention teams.

Sophomore Nicole Edelman and junior Taylor Simpson were named to the honorable mention All-Pac-12 team, while Cierra Simpson was selected to the honorable mention Pac-12 All-Freshman team.

“All of our players work hard for the team, but it is nice to see a few of them recognized by the collective group of Pac-12 coaches for their performances during the conference season,” coach Liz Kritza said.

Edelman, a 6-0 setter from Boulder, Colo., ranks fifth in the conference with 10.18 assists per set and has helped to direct the Buffs to a .224 hitting efficiency. In total, she has recorded 1,059 assists this season, while adding 84 kills, 13 aces, 233 digs and 46 blocks for 123.5 points.

Throughout the season, Edelman has earned several honors. She was named the CU Athlete of the Week twice, was selected to the Candlewood Suites Invitational All-Tournament Team and was the MVP of the Baylor Invitational.

“Edelman’s ability to run the offense and her competitive drive place her amongst the top in the conference and this recognition is well deserved,” Kritza said.

Taylor Simpson, a 6-3 outside hitter from Colorado Springs, Colo., made an immediate impact for this Buffs this year, leading the team with 3.64 kills per set and 4.07 points per set, which ranks eighth and ninth, respectively, in the conference. Simpson has been an all-around player as she is second on the team with 2.66 digs per set and 0.64 blocks per set. She became the 12th Buff to ever record a 20-20 double-double when she tallied 20 kills and a career-high 22 digs against Utah on Nov. 27.

Simpson has earned many honors this season, including the CU Athlete of the Week award four times. She was also named the Candlewood Suites Invitational MVP.

“Taylor’s impact on our team’s success has been significant this season and it is great that her efforts are being recognized,” Kritza said. “One of the best things about Taylor is her team first outlook that makes her a leader of this group as we continue to build this program.”

Cierra Simpson, a 6-0 libero from Colorado Springs, Colo., earned the starting role of libero in the first match of the season against St. Mary’s on August 30. She has picked up 342 digs to average 3.20 digs per set, while adding 0.24 service aces per set. Simpson recorded a career-best 22 digs against Appalachian State on Sept. 13 and also had 20 digs against Arizona State on October 27.

Simpson was named to the Baylor Invitational All-Tournament team at the beginning of the season.

“As a true freshman, CeCe’s fills a big role as a libero in the top conference in the country,” Kritza explained. “She works incredibly hard every day to be the best that she can be for her team.”

CU also advanced to its first NCAA Tournament since 2006 and will face former Big 12 rival Iowa State on Friday, Dec. 5, at 4:30 p.m. at the Sports Pavilion in Minneapolis. The Buffs finished the regular season with a 17-13 overall record and tied for seventh in the Pac-12 with a 9-11 record.